Jayakumar, who was also previously Singapore’s foreign affairs minister and its law minister, will focus on expanding the 230-lawyer firm’s international law, international trade and constitutional law practices. He will also act as mentor to younger partners and associates.
“He will bring unrivalled experience and insight in the fields of international and constitutional law, as well as in other areas,” said Drew & Napier managing partner Davinder Singh. “He is someone who is universally acknowledged as one of the best legal brains of his generation.”
Jayakumar, 73, served as Singapore’s number-two leader from 2004 until 2009 and was foreign affairs minister from 1994 to 2004. Before that, he served minister for home affairs from 1985 to 1994.
Concurrent with those roles, Jayakumar also served as head of Singapore’s ministry of law for two decades between 1988 and 2008. He led efforts to turn Singapore into a center for the global legal profession, including the development of the Maxwell Chambers arbitration complex. He also developed the Joint Law Venture and Qualifying Foreign Law Practice programs governing foreign firm’s ability to practice Singapore law.
From 2009 until his retirement from politics in 2011, Jayakumar was senior minister, a position held by former Singapore prime ministers and deputy prime ministers.