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Rajah & Tann expands to Cambodia and Myanmar

SINGAPORE, 31 January 2013 – Rajah & Tann has expanded its regional footprint to Myanmar and Cambodia by integrating two local and well-established law firms in a move that enhances the reach of its network in the emerging markets of Asia and its access to lawyers who are able to practise local law.

Rajah & Tann NK Legal will commence operations in Myanmar following the integration of Myanmar law firm, NK Legal. Similarly, its tie up with Sok & Heng will see the network serving its clients in Cambodia through R&T Sok & Heng Law Office, a law firm registered with the Bar Council of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

The expansion makes Rajah & Tann the only Singapore law firm with physical presence and full-service capabilities in the key emerging markets in Asia. Even before this expansion into Myanmar and Cambodia, Rajah & Tann was already the largest law firm in Southeast Asia, according to Asian Lawyer, the Asian edition of the American Lawyer.

Rajah & Tann’s regional network include offices in China, Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam, and associate/ affiliate offices in Malaysia and Indonesia as well as regional desks focusing on Japan and South Asia.

Rajah & Tann’s Managing Partner Mr Lee Eng Beng, SC, said: “Our goal has been to create an Indochina network of law practices so that we can serve our clients seamlessly regardless of where they are based in the region. These recent expansions are in line with this regional strategy. Our presence in these countries underscores our commitment to be the Asian counsel of choice in Asia.”

Complementing Rajah & Tann's Indochina network is its Myanmar office, which will be staffed with Myanmar-qualified lawyers and headed by U Nyein Kyaw.

U Nyein Kyaw added: "We are honoured to be part of Rajah & Tann's network given that its reach and reputation in the region is unsurpassed. I am well aware of its ability to handle the challenges of dealing with Myanmar's developing legal and regulatory framework due to its experiences in other emerging markets in Asia. Based on the pace of reforms in Myanmar, there is clearly strong demand for legal services for corporate and transactional work including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, market access and regulatory risk assessment. Coupled with the ability to tap into Rajah & Tann's Asian network, our clients are poised to benefit tremendously from the tie-up."

The Cambodian office will be led by the two founding partners of Sok & Heng, Mr Sok Khavan and Mr Heng Chhay, with the latter being appointed the managing partner of R&T Sok & Heng. The new firm will continue to provide legal services to its numerous multinational and local companies in Cambodia and abroad, as well as to other Rajah & Tann clients seeking legal advice on Cambodia.

Mr Sok Khavan said: “With the strong growth in the Asean economies, our Cambodian clients are increasingly looking beyond the domestic market for business opportunities. We have also noticed an uptick of interest from outside Cambodia into the country. Being part of Rajah & Tann puts us in a prime position to take advantage of the growth opportunities, given its leading position in the region and its extensive network of offices.”
Rajah & Tann’s expansion comes at a time when Singapore government agencies including the Economic Development Board (EDB) and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, have been encouraging local firms to venture abroad.

Mr Kelvin Wong, Executive Director, Professional Services, EDB, said: “We are delighted to celebrate this significant milestone with Rajah & Tann. From its regional base in Singapore, Rajah & Tann will be well positioned to serve the growing demand for cross border, pan regional legal services as Asia grows. This will also strengthen Singapore’s position as an international legal services hub.”

Mr Lee Yee Fung, Group Director for Lifestyle Business Services, IE Singapore, said: “Singapore’s export of professional services has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12% between 2000 and 2010. We expect this figure to further increase as Asia becomes the centre of global economic growth, and more business dealings are completed in the region.

“With an established track record in Singapore, Rajah & Tann is well poised to extend its expertise overseas. We hope this case will motivate more Singapore companies to leverage this wave of growth and venture into the region.”

Rajah & Tann's network in Asia offers a comprehensive range of practice areas including corporate finance and capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, shipping, arbitration, technology, insolvency, regulatory and litigation.

Date of Story:31 January 2013

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