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DWF is opening in Singapore with a four-lawyer team, including two partners, all of whom previously worked for Eversheds Sutherland.

The partners are former Singapore managing partner Oommen Mathew and former Asia construction head Iain Black.

They will be joined by two associates, Charis Tan and Kate Lan.

Eversheds recently struck a merger deal in Singapore with local firm Harry Elias which became effective earlier this month.

Matthew and Black chose not to join the combined firm, now known as Eversheds Harry Elias.

Philip Fong, previously Harry Elias’ managing partner since 2010, became Singapore office head for the combined firm earlier this month.

The move marks a new focus on Asia Pacific for DWF which currently only has an office in Sydney.

Managing partner and CEO of DWF Andrew Leaitherland, said: “With many of our clients with operations in Singapore, and growing demand across the region, securing a base in the rapidly growing Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region is currently the most important strategic step for us in the development of our international business.

“With Oommen and Iain from Eversheds Sutherland, we have a powerful launch team with excellent regional knowledge and experience and a very strong base on which to build out our offering. Singapore is the regional hub for financial services and insurance, two of our sector specialisms, and we will be adding teams that focus on these sectors shortly.”

The firm has been on an expansion drive recently, taking a team from DLA Piper in Berlin when that firm pulled out of the city in March, launching in Paris in January via a merger with four-partner firm Heenan Paris and acquiring UK-based claims manager Triton out of administration, also in January.

Last year the firm launched in Belfast via a merger with 20-partner firm C & H Jefferson, while in 2015 it merged with four-partner German firm BridgehouseLaw, giving it offices in Cologne and Munich.