Taylor Wessing targets SE Asia expansion with network of formal alliances

Taylor Wessing’s Singapore member firm RHT Law Taylor Wessing is to announce formal alliances with local outfits in four Southeast Asian markets within the next month.

The Singapore firm, which combined with Taylor Wessing in 2011, is planning to secure tie-ups with firms in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia in the coming four weeks, having been tasked with growing the Taylor Wessing brand in the ASEAN region.

“With the consolidation of the business we felt that it was time to really look at our regional network,” said RHTLaw Taylor Wessing managing partner Tan Chong Huat.

Tan declined to name the target firms, but said RHT would look at associations or alliances, and at a mix of exclusive, non-exclusive, profit sharing and co-branding arrangements, depending on the regulations of the individual jurisdictions.

“These are people we have known for many years, some for as long as 35 years. Going forward we will have a formal relationship with them. We will be formalising [the relationships] in the next three to four weeks.”

He added that the firm would consider other markets further at a later date.

“There are also plans to look at Myanmar, especially after the elections are to be held and things are clearer,” he said. “And the Philippines, definitely, because the economy is picking up very nicely.”

RHT Law joined the Taylor Wessing network in May 2011, after the group of more than 50 lawyers left local outfit KhattarWong Lawyers and started up their own firm. Unlike a joint law venture, the outfit has its own profit pool in Singapore, in addition to a pot for investment and international remuneration purposes.

Since the tie-up, it has since grown from 50 to more than 70 lawyers, and has built up its private wealth practice in the city-state after seconding a number of UK lawyers to the local office.

Taylor Wessing is also looking to open a Hong Kong office in the near future, in a bid to grow its footprint in northern Asia. It currently has offices in Shanghai and Beijing, and a China-focused group based out of the UK and Germany.