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March 3, 2009 9:02 AM

K&L Gates Opens in Singapore

Posted by Anthony Lin

K&L Gates has opened a Singapore office with a partner recruited from DLA Piper. Kevin Murphy will lead a corporate and restructuring practice for K&L Gates, focusing on the Southeast Asia region.

Murphy has previously represented Asian and foreign clients on in-bound and outbound cross-border matters, including investments and acquisitions, debt restructurings, and public and private financings. K&L Gates said the fledgling Singapore branch would be further supported by lawyers based in its Taipei, Hong Kong, and London offices.

"Our Singapore office is another piece in the puzzle allowing us to better serve current and future clients and is a natural part of K&L Gates's platform expansion," said Peter Kalis, chairman of the Pittsburgh-founded firm.

The Singapore legal market is currently generating fresh interest among international firms in the wake of a new round of liberalization. Last October six foreign firms were granted licenses allowing them to practice most areas of local law.

However, the market has proved problematic for foreign firms seeking to maintain local alliances, which were required under the old joint venture regime.

This week White & Case, one of the six firms to win the new liberalized licenses, announced that it would split from its local ally Venture Law, ditching plans to fully merge with the firm.

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