London-based Trowers & Hamlins has launched a new representative office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Under current Malaysian law, foreign law firms are not allowed to practice law in Malaysia, and the new Trowers & Hamlins office is not providing legal services to its clients.
However, the Legal Professions Act, which was amended in April, will allow foreign law firm to set up office and practice in Malaysia via a partnership with a local firm or by obtaining a qualified foreign law firm license. Trowers & Hamlins says it intends to apply for the license as soon as the regulatory framework is in place.
The British firm, which has 313 lawyers, has a strong focus on the Middle East, with offices in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Cairo, and Oman. The firm also has domestic U.K. offices in Birmingham, Exeter, and Manchester.
Partner Nick White, formerly the Trowers & Hamlins’ Dubai managing partner, will lead the Kuala Lumpur office.
The new office will mainly help the firm’s existing Malaysian clients with their overseas investments in Europe and the Middle East. In March, Trowers & Hamlins advised Malaysian investment fund Tenaga Nasional Bhd. and Permodalan Nasional Bhd. on the $771 million acquisition of two London commercial sites.