DWF has poached Babita Ambekar, an India and Japan specialist, from Duane Morris & Selvam in Singapore.

Ambekar, who was special counsel at Duane Morris & Selvam and head of the firm’s India and Japan practice groups, will be a corporate partner at DWF. She advises on international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, licensing and distribution, and employment and data protection matters. She specializes in the energy, fintech, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, technology, and hospitality sectors.

Ambekar first joined Duane Morris in 2011 in a business development role. In 2015, she returned to the practice of law at Duane Morris & Selvam, the Singapore joint law venture between the Philadelphia-based firm and Singaporean firm Selvam. Earlier in her career, she practiced in London at Andersen Legal, the defunct legal network of onetime accounting giant Arthur Andersen.

“Babita will be an excellent addition to the team and will help to strengthen services for clients, particularly our work in South Asia and Japan, as we continue to enhance our practice in Singapore,” Singapore managing partner Oommen Mathew said in a statement.

DWF opened its Singapore office in June 2017 with a four-lawyer team from Eversheds Sutherland that was led by Eversheds’ former Singapore managing partner Mathew and former Asia construction head Iain Black; the quartet left as Eversheds was combining with local firm Harry Elias Partnership. This August, DWF recruited former Kennedys corporate and regulatory counsel Jonathan Goacher as a partner to launch a corporate insurance practice in Singapore.

The Manchester-based firm has been expanding around the world in recent months ahead of a potential initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange next year. DWF recruited in London and Milan, opened offices in Australia and Qatar, and entered into an exclusive association with Los Angeles-based Wood Smith Henning & Berman.

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