Herbert Smith and Freehills combine duplicate bases in Singapore

Herbert Smith and Freehills have announced plans to merge their Singapore offices following the full equity merger between the two firms which took effect on 1 October, creating Herbert Smith Freehills.

The 22 lawyers and support staff working on the Freehills side will move from their current base at 39 Robinson Road just 1km to 50 Raffles Place, where Herbert Smith is located in the Asian city-state.

Speaking to Legal Week, Herbert Smith said there would be no redundancies on either side of the business in Singapore, and that no staff would be redeployed to other offices. The move is expected to take place on 29 October.

The decision to merge UK outfit Herbert Smith with Australia’s Freehills was announced formally in June this year, after partners at both firms voted in favour of a union.

Singapore is the only jurisdiction where the merged firm has duplicate offices.

Prior to the tie-up, Freehills did not have a Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licence in Singapore, while Herbert Smith was among the first set of firms to be awarded a licence in 2008, along with magic circle firms Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy.

The merger means that currently 2,800 lawyers, including 460 partners, are now operating under a single profit pool, working across 20 offices worldwide.

The merged firm is being led joint CEOs David Willis from Herbert Smith and Freehills’ Gavin Bell, and is expected to boast revenues of almost £800m.