Mumbai-based firm Khaitan & Co is opening an office in Singapore next month, its first operation outside of India.
The firm said the move is part of its broader strategic view of Singapore as a hub for ramping up inbound and outbound opportunities for domestic and international clients. The office will operate as a licensed foreign law practice, offering Indian law expertise, including international commercial arbitration.
The office will focus on cross-border M&A, private and public investments and advising high-net worth Indian families based in Singapore on issues such as tax and success planning. The firm will also advise on international arbitrations involving Indian law.
Haigreve Khaitan, the firm’s senior partner, said: “We have been exploring international expansion for a while and Singapore seemed the logical choice for our first foray, based on feedback and encouragement received from both our domestic and international clients. Our full-service capabilities will now be available locally in Singapore, virtually supported by key subject matter experts from India.”
The new Singapore office will be led by M&A and private client practice partner Anuj Shah and strategy director Jean Muller. Shah has more than 15 years of experience advising corporations, financial institutions, private equity sponsors and sovereign wealth funds on a broad range of corporate law matters and M&A deals. Muller has more than 12 years of experience in business development and strategy in Europe, the UK and India.
Last month, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas announced it was setting up a representative office in Singapore, led by a full time Singapore-based alumnus of the firm. It said it would be applying to the Singapore Legal Services Regulatory Authority for a foreign legal practice license in due course.
Singapore has been the focus of attention for a number of global law firms of late. Earlier this month, Squire Patton Boggs further expanded its operations in the city state with the hiring of Eversheds Sutherland’s former arbitration co-head Rodman Bundy, who joined from Singapore firm Harry Elias Partnership alongside colleague Alvin Yap. That followed the arrival in January of Clifford Chance’s Asia Pacific maritime head Kate Sherrard along with a senior associate.
Last month HFW also made its second Singapore hire in as many months with the arrival of disputes partner Dan Perera from Reed Smith. That came after HFW snapped up Reed Smith’s Singapore managing partner and climate finance expert Peter Zaman in January.
Despite losing Perera and Zaman, Reed Smith has also been active in the Singapore lateral hiring market this year, taking on an eight-strong corporate and transport team from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, including partners Monoj Purushothaman and Simon Spells.