McDermott opens Singapore office

Singapore court’s first ruling on BIT claim

McDermott Will & Emery has launched a new office in Singapore to oversee its client base across Asia and expand its outreach in the Asia-Pacific.

The law firm also hired partner Alfred Chia and counsel Dawn Tan and Melissa Kwek from Squire Patton Boggs in Singapore for its global transactions practice.

The new office is managed by international energy and infrastructure partner Ignatius Hwang, who joined the firm in March after managing Squire’s Singapore office for nine years. Previously, he was a managing partner at Bryan Cave’s Singapore office for almost four years.

Michael Poulos, McDermott’s Chicago-based partner in charge of strategy, said that the firm has always been ambitious regarding Asia.

“It became clear over time that Singapore was the place to establish our hub,” said Poulos. “We already have strong links between Singapore and the US, London and key European offices, as well as having a number of lawyers active in the region, so a team on the ground to complement our existing international offering provides a powerful boost to our growth plans.”

With the new hires, Chia has more than 20 years of experience advising cross-border transactions across Asia, Australia and the Middle East. He focuses on projects, banking and finance, M&A, and blockchain and cryptocurrency. Previously, he was a partner in Squire’s Singapore office for more than nine years.

Tan focuses on corporate law, with more than 12 years’ experience in cross-border transactions. She was a senior associate at Squire for more than five years and has particular experience in private M&A, private equity investments, venture capital investments and fund formation work across various industry sectors.

Kwek focuses on projects, particularly in the petrochemical, energy and infrastructure sectors, M&A and cross-border corporate transactions. She was an of counsel at Squire for more than four years.