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‘What clients need’: CC to close Bangkok and ends Jakarta association to focus on Singapore

Clifford Chance (CC) has announced today (28 April) it is closing its office in Bangkok, and will dissolve its exclusive alliance in Jakarta with Linda Widyati and Partners (LWP). The firm is to focus more on its South-East Asia practice via its Singapore hub.

The Magic Circle firm, which says revenues in the Asia Pacific region have risen by 50% in the past five years, will close Bangkok in the next 12 to 15 months. The Jakarta alliance is to cease later this year in October when LWP lead partner Linda Widyati is to retire.

CC opened in Bangkok in 1996, and currently has three partners in that office: head Fergus Evans, M&A partner Andrew Matthews and banking partner Joseph Tisuthiwongse. The Indonesia alliance with LWP has been running since January 2014.

CC Asia Pacific managing partner Geraint Hughes said this was what clients needed.

Hughes said: ‘Our clients are increasingly ambitious; their sights are set regionally and beyond. They increasingly want fast, flexible access to a deep bench of world-class expertise. Concentrating our capability in our existing regional hub in Singapore, investing in systems and innovation that will further enhance our service to clients, and using leading local law firms in each jurisdiction, ensures we are best equipped to respond to this demand.’

‘We anticipate that the transition period will give us a good opportunity to manage the impact on the Bangkok team, and ensure we deliver seamlessly to our clients. I’d also like to express our thanks to the LWP team in Jakarta for a productive alliance and wish each of them success in the future,’ he added.

In February, CC also pulled out of Qatar after six years in the country, after steadily reducing its presence there. Earlier this week, CC also announced it has appointed 24 new partners across the US, Asia Pacific, continental Europe and six in London across practice areas such as capital markets, corporate, finance, litigation and real estate. The Asia Pacific promotions focused on Hong Kong, Tokyo and one in Singapore.