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‘Established where we need it’: Singapore tie-up sees Watson Farley & Williams round off standout year  

Watson Farley & Williams has capped off an impressive year of financial growth with international expansion, securing a formal law alliance (FLA) with Singaporean firm Wong Tan & Molly Lim (WTL).

The tie-up, which will be known as WFW & WTL, will allow WFW integrated marketing, billing, client and legal services thanks to the FLA. The FLA structure was introduced by the Singapore government to allow greater flexibility between local firms and their international colleagues.

WTL specialises in corporate and commercial, finance, dispute resolution and real estate, and has a client base comprising financial institutions, professional services firms, securities houses and public and supranational bodies.

WFW has run an office in Singapore since 1998, focusing on some of the firm’s core sectors, including maritime, aviation, energy and infrastructure. Typically, WFW’s Singapore office advises on corporate, finance and contentious matters.

Around 25% of WFW’s business comes from Asia, with Singapore the largest contributor. In the last financial year, WFW’s Singapore offering generated roughly 21m (SGD).

Chris Lowe, WFW’s co-managing partner, told Legal Business: ‘We will have the ability to provide a one-stop shop for legal advice on both English and Singaporean law in Singapore. We chose WTL because it is already a successful law firm with an established client base and we’ve already had some good referrals from them.’

Goh Mei Lin, managing partner of WFW’s Singapore office added: ‘They are established in areas where we needed it, in corporate, commercial and finance as well as dispute resolution. Because we’ve worked with each other for a long time, we don’t have that “getting to know each other” phase.’

It has been a productive end to the year for WFW, with the firm also announcing yesterday (14 December) that it has advised Teekay LNG Partners and its joint venture partner China LNG Shipping Limited (CLNG) on a $1.6bn financing of a construction project in South Korea. WFW’s team was led by partner David Osborne.

For analysis of WFW’s standout performance, read ‘Reversal of fortunes – how three mid-tiers outgunned the City elite for a decade’