04 Nov 2022

Kennedys shuts up shop in Bangkok after reviewing Thai business

UK firm maintains Southeast Asia presence in Singapore and Hong Kong

A photo of a busy Bangkok street

Kennedys will use its remaining APAC regional offices to serve clients' Thai business needs Shutterstock

UK law firm Kennedys has shuttered its Bangkok office following a review into its Thailand business, leaving it with two offices in the Southeast Asia region.

In a statement, the firm said: “We reviewed our operation in Thailand and ultimately took the decision to close our Bangkok office. The office closed on 31 October 2022. Over the last couple of months we have been working with and supporting both our people in Bangkok and our clients to manage the office closure.”

The firm said it will continue to serve its clients’ Thailand needs from its regional Asia Pacific offices and through its network of local Thai law firms. Kennedys remains in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as five outposts across Australia and New Zealand.

There have been a number of law firm office closures this year, mostly owing to firms pulling out of Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Some firms have also been exiting Hong Kong amid concerns about Beijing’s controversial national security law. Back in May, Addleshaw Goddard said it was closing its 36-strong Hong Kong office when its lease expired in September. Baker Botts, Orrick and Osborne Clarke have all shut their Hong Kong offices since 2020, with Osborne Clarke citing disruption and uncertainty caused by political protests and the Covid-19 pandemic for its exit.

Last month, Hogan Lovells said it was shutting its Perth, Australia office following a review into its Australian operations, redoubling its focus on its Sydney base. And in September, US firm Brown Rudnick closed its Paris office, with most of its Paris partners departing for other firms and David Chijner relocating to London.

While Kennedys has closed in Bangkok, it has been expanding elsewhere. Back in July, it opened in Houston – its ninth office in the US. Kennedy’s attributed an 8% global revenue rise in the 2021/22 financial year to its US expansion efforts, with North American turnover jumping 24%. The firm also expanded in Latin America back in April with local firm associations in Bolivia and Ecuador.

In May, Kennedys also doubled the size of its Indian tech hub as it seeks to further grow its development team.

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