Photo: John Disney/ALM

The global accounting firm Deloitte has launched a Singaporean law practice, led by former Allen & Overy counsel Lian Chuan Yeoh.

Yeoh is the managing director of local firm Sabara Law, which is a member of Deloitte’s global legal network. Sabara Law will focus on work adjacent to the auditor’s services, which include tax, financial regulation and data protection. Yeoh said he will recruit two to three additional lawyers, including another director, by the end of the year.

Yeoh was previously Singapore-based counsel with Allen & Overy focusing on tax law work. After leaving the Magic Circle firm in July, he set up a consultancy firm and advised Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek on tax matters on a contractual basis for three months. Before joining Allen & Overy in 2009, he was a partner at top Singaporean law firms Rajah & Tann and Allen & Gledhill, and was a deputy director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The launch of a local law practice in Singapore comes after Deloitte started a foreign law offering in the city-state earlier this year. The Asian Lawyer reported in July that the auditor has formed Deloitte Legal International Pte. Ltd., led by Rashed Idrees, a former partner with Southeast Asian law firm DFDL where he oversaw practices in several Southeast Asian countries.

Deloitte’s legal offerings in Singapore follows a series of aggressive hires by the Big Four from top local firms, aiming to venture into the mainstream legal market. In July, EY launched a new Singaporean law practice with a four-lawyer team from Dentons Rodyk & Davidson; and PwC announced it recruited veteran WongPartnership partner Rachel Eng to help launch a new local law firm.

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