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13 September 2012

Freshfields returns to Singapore amidst expanding legal industry

London-based magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is to reopen its doors in Singapore five years after bailing out of the country.

Singapore: Freshfields moves back in

The move is indicative of the expanding legal industry in Singapore, with 110 foreign law firms registered in the city state to-date, reports Bloomberg News.

‘The time is right to open in Singapore,’ says Stephen Revell,  head of the firm’s global capital markets practice. ‘We’ve got a lot of demand from clients to be here and centring deals in Singapore,’ he added. Mr Revell is jointly heading the new office with Gavin MacLaren.

Deal activity

Freshfields was the first international law firm to open in Singapore in 1980, and Mr Revell credits the global economic climate for the decision to withdraw in 2007. Over the past year, mergers and acquisitions in Singapore rose 26 per cent amidst a slowing-down of deal activity in Europe due to uncertainty over the single currency.

The reopening of Freshfields comes as 23 foreign law firms bid last month for licences to practice local corporate law in Singapore.

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