RPC expands corporate, dispute resolution, and insurance capability in Asia with Singapore JLV
Leading law firm RPC today announced that it is entering into a joint law venture (JLV) with established Singapore-based practice Premier Law.The combination – which goes live on 1 May 2016 – will see the two firms offering clients a comprehensive range of services across:
- Banking and financial dispute resolution
- International arbitration and dispute resolution
- Corporate, mergers and acquisitions and finance
- Insurance and reinsurance
- Marine and international trade
- Corporate insurance
- Restructuring and insolvency
Together the JLV will be known as RPC Premier Law Pte Ltd, and will include four partners amongst a team of 27 overall, based in Singapore.
RPC – which opened in Singapore in February 2012 – currently handles a broad range of dispute resolution and coverage work under UK law on behalf of international insurers and reinsurers across Asia Pacific, with one of the largest and best respected teams in the region.
Premier Law has a long-established reputation in Singapore, having opened in December 2007. The team of 14 acts for blue chip organisations in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China, handling a broad range of litigation, arbitration and transactional work. Asian Legal Business named it as one of 10 firms to watch in Asia for 2015.
RPC Managing Partner Jonathan Watmough said: "This is not a case of us planting a flag in the ground. We have spent several years looking for the final piece in an evolving puzzle. In Premier Law we have found the right strategic partner to allow us to offer the full suite of dispute resolution, transactional and insurance services across three of the leading financial centres in the world – London, Singapore and Hong Kong.
"We have always been very clear that we were committed to building on what we can offer clients in Singapore, and more widely in Asia. But we've been equally clear that we will only invest strategically where it makes sense for our clients, and with the right people – people who see things the same way as we do.
"Premier Law offers us that. Culturally the firms are a very good fit, with a demonstrable focus on collegiality, openness and teamwork. And the business synergies are compelling, too. Our disputes practices are very closely aligned both in Asia and further afield – particularly when it comes to acting adverse to the major banks – and the combination of Premier's corporate and commercial capability with our existing presence in Hong Kong will give us the critical mass to take on new and larger deals.
"The combination will also allow our insurance and marine practices to advise on Singapore law – a critical development for clients as the importance of Singapore continues to grow in these sectors.
"The two firms also share a focus on shaking things up where it makes a difference for clients. We look to drive efficiencies, and develop products – such as our new insurance management consultancy business, and associated software product, tyche – which deliver tangible commercial advantage to our clients' businesses."
Premier Law is one of very few firms in Singapore with the capability and freedom from conflicts to take on the major banks and financial institutions, gelling perfectly with RPC's existing banking disputes practice, which is a market leader in both the UK and Asia.
The combination of RPC Premier Law and Premier Law will provide clients with one of the most experienced disputes practices in the region, with the ability to handle matters under both Singapore* and English Law.
Siraj Omar, who heads Premier's disputes practice, said: "Singapore is a key centre for dispute resolution in Asia, alongside Hong Kong. We've been keen for a while to broaden the depth and reach that we can offer our clients – this combination with one of the leading disputes practices in the region gives us that platform. The teams are neatly complementary, and the combination will allow us to learn from each other and gain access to new markets.
"Clients currently suffer from a lack of options when wanting to act adverse to the banks in Singapore. We're very excited about working with the team at RPC and being able to offer clients in Asia much greater choice."
Pan South-East Asia Corporate capability
The corporate and finance team at Premier Law is led by Tandip Singh and covers acquisitions, project financing, debt restructuring and transactions with a particular focus on infrastructure and resources. The firm is very active across the region, with a team that boasts significant experience handling deals throughout South East Asia. In particular, Tandip’s team has 20 years' experience in Indonesian transactions.
Tandip said: "Our joint law venture will allow us to leverage off the strengths of both firms’ practices and client bases. It gives Premier Law’s clients seamless access to the RPC network of offices and expertise, and it gives RPC’s clients unparalleled insight and local industry knowledge in the Singapore and Indonesian legal markets. One clearly exciting prospect from this combination is the chance to marry our strong background in corporate transactional matters with RPC's market-leading expertise in insurance to build a dedicated corporate insurance legal team in Singapore."
RPC Premier Law will be based in the centre of Singapore's business district.
*Local Singapore litigation will be handled by Premier Law, outside of the JLV