Olswang has set its sights on expansion in Asia, today (7 December) announcing non-exclusive associations with local firms in Hong Kong and Singapore.
In Hong Kong the firm has joined forces with 42-year-old firm Haldanes, forming a non-exclusive association as set down by local Law Society rules.
Meanwhile in Singapore, where the top-50 LB100 firm already has an office, the firm has also formed a non-exclusive tie-up with Holborn, a two-lawyer disputes firm led by by local lawyer Lakshanthi Fernando and set up earlier this year, giving Olswang a local practice to operate in association with.
Commenting on the Holborn tie-up, Rob Bratby, Asia managing partner for Olswang, said: ‘The association will enable us to refer our clients to Holborn where they need local Singapore law advice, whilst we can support Holborn’s clients on regional and European projects. I am hugely impressed with Lakshanthi’s drive, energy and professionalism and look forward to working closely with her to make this association a success. With the arrival last week of regional corporate partner Toby Grainger from Ashurst, and the announcement of our association with Haldanes in Hong Kong we have both deepened our bench-strength and widened our capabilities through these alliances.’
Jonathan Midgley, senior partner at Haldanes, said: ‘Almost every major international company has its Asia headquarters in either Hong Kong or Singapore. As a firm exclusively based in Hong Kong, access to legal services in Singapore is something a lot of our clients see as crucial. The benefits and synergies to be gained from this association are therefore obvious.’
The growth in Asia follows a turbulent summer for Olswang’s German practice after US firm Greenberg Traurig launched its first German office with the mass hire of Olswang’s 50-strong lawyer team in Berlin.
Following claims that Olswang was re-directing its efforts to its Munich office, the firm was served a further blow after a team of five including intellectual property partner and head of the filing and prosecution team, Herbert Kunz, exited in August.