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Liberalisation 'will benefit Singapore legal market'

Posted by: Laurence Simons 26/02/13

Firms looking to make their way towards the east and benefit from the many growth opportunities this region offers will take advantage of the increasing liberalisation of the legal market in Singapore, it has been claimed.

Writing in the Lawyer, KC Lye - a partner at Norton Rose - noted that his firm is now celebrating 30 years in Singapore, making it an old hand in what is becoming a crowded field.

"A second round of QFLP licences brings Singapore further down the road of being one of a handful of significant global hubs for international legal services," he suggested.

While Norton Rose may be able to enjoy a smug grin at their prescience in building up a major presence in the country before any of their major rivals had time to establish a foothold, it is obvious that the arrival of firms like Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Jones Day and Linklaters will add to the quality of legal provision in Singapore, with in-house roles also likely to become more prominent.

The current government has made major strides in opening the market up to international legal service providers, both allowing Singaporean lawyers to delve deeper into globalised law and helping firms from across the world to establish themselves in the Asian nation.

According to Mr Lye, the shift also shows a changing paradigm in the legal world, "which is moving from a bi-polar world dominated by London and New York, to a multi-polar world, where success now depends on having significant presence in several key legal hubs across the globe".

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