25 Oct 2022

Spanish heavyweight Pérez-Llorca to open in Singapore as its targets Asia-Pacific growth

Move sees Pérez-Llorca become first Spanish firm to have a base in the city-state

Pablo Hontoria Image courtesy of Pérez-Llorca

Pérez-Llorca is set to open an office in Singapore in the first quarter of 2023, becoming what it claims is the first Spanish law firm to have a base in the Asian city state.

Pérez-Llorca said it will use the office as a hub from which it will develop its strategy across the Asia-Pacific region. The launch will also see the firm make good on its plan have a physical presence in the global financial capitals of New York, London and Singapore as well as in Europe’s regulatory capital of Brussels. 

“This new office is a clear strategic fit for us,” said Pedro Pérez-Llorca, senior partner at Pérez-Llorca. “The Asian economy is, as we speak, outperforming both the American and European economies. We have to have a presence there, to help our clients and also for ourselves, to develop our own practice and to continue to learn. And Singapore is, without a doubt, the place to be in Asia-Pacific.” 

The new office will be led by corporate associate Pablo Hontoria, who is expected to be elevated to the partnership at Pérez-Llorca’s next general meeting of partners. Hontoria will relocate to Singapore alongside another corporate lawyer and a local offic manager, though the firm anticipates the office will grow as it develops. 

Hontoria started his career at Pérez-Llorca in 2011 in Madrid and later worked with Iván Delgado on the opening of the firm’s New York office, where he stayed until 2017. The next year he completed a Master of Laws at Columbia University and worked for two years as an international associate in the New York office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher as part of Pérez-Llorca’s talent exchange programme with leading New York firms. 

He later re-joined the firm’s corporate team in Madrid and focuses his practice on advising national and international clients on mergers and acquisitions, transfers of assets and business units, as well as on corporate and corporate governance matters. He advises both private equity funds and industrial groups on cross-border transactions in sectors such as energy, infrastructure, software and food. 

“I am very happy that it is Pablo Hontoria who is opening this office. He is a great representative of the career plan that we want to offer to anyone with ambition, with international training, office moves, placements in other offices and, in general, opportunities,” Pedro Pérez-Llorca commented. 

New of Pérez-Llorca’s Singapore launch follows the firm hiring senior EU law expert Sonsoles Centeno as a partner at the end of last year to lead the opening of its Brussels office. The firm uses the office, which opened a few months ago, as a base to manage its European law practice and develop its core public, regulatory and competition law offerings. 

The Brussels move marked the first international expansion for the firm since it set up shop in New York in 2015, a year after it opened in London. The vast majority of the firm’s more than 300 lawyers are based in its two Madrid offices, while a team of around thirty also work out of its Barcelona arm.

Late last year, the firm moved its London office from the City to Mayfair to be closer to the international financial sponsors and funds based nearby that make up a large part of its client base.

Pérez’s Singapore move sees it become the latest international law firm to look to the city state amid its rise as an economic and legal centre, particularly for disputes.  

Earlier this month top 20 US law firm Goodwin Procter announced it had opened doors in Singapore while today Mayer Brown announced a joint venture with Singapore’s PK Wong & Nair.

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