Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Latham & Watkins has hired Singapore lawyer Farhana Sharmeen as a partner in the city-state.

Sharmeen joins from Withers’ formal Singapore law alliance, Withers KhattarWong, where she was a partner specializing in mergers and acquisitions. She advises on both public and private M&As, with emphasis on financing for public takeovers. In 2015, she acted for Chinese semiconductor company Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology Co. Ltd., which led a consortium on a $760 million takeover of Singaporean rival STATS ChipPAC Ltd.

She joined Withers KhattarWong in December 2016 from Singapore firm Drew & Napier, where she practiced for more than a decade—most recently as a director and head of its India desk. Withers and Singapore firm KhattarWong entered into a Formal Law Alliance in February 2015, which allowed the British firm access to Singaporean law advice.

Latham & Watkins now has 35 lawyers in its Singapore office, including 11 partners, according to its website. The U.S. firm’s Singapore office operates under a Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) license, which permits foreign firms to hire Singapore-qualified lawyers and practice Singaporean law in certain areas—mostly in corporate and commercial practices.

With the arrival of Sharmeen, the office has four Singapore-qualified partners that also include office managing partner Sharon Lau, M&A partner Marcus Lee and capital markets partner Min Yee Ng.*

Latham was among the first batch of firms to receive a QFLP in 2009 and was granted a five-year renewal in 2014. Its license is due to expire in 2019. Late last year, the Singapore Ministry of Law gave Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Jones Day, Linklaters and Sidley Austin—whose QFLPs were due to expire in 2018—a partial two-year extension to 2020, as the four firms failed to meet financial and recruitment targets.

Additional reporting by Anna Zhang in Hong Kong. 

*Updated 10/9: A previous version of this story stated that Latham has five Singapore-qualified partners in the office. It has four as M&A partner Chei Liang Sin has recently retired. The fifth paragraph has been updated to reflect that.

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