A STEP in the right direction, but not far enough is how proposed relaxations to rules governinglaw firms wishing to establish a presence in Singapore has been received.
“It’s a slight improvement,” said Steve Pemberton, a partner in Allens Arthur Robinson’s Singapore office, “but it really doesn’t get around the problem that the joint venture structure is not a particularly attractive way to operate,”
The proposals are part of amendments to the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and are designed to make it easier for Australian law firms to set up joint ventures with Singaporean firms. However, joint ventures had not been a popular option — all Australian law firms with a presence in Singapore were operating independently.
See The Asian Lawyer p15