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Duane Morris Chairman Sheldon Bonovitz is making good on his plan to grow the 600-attorney firm to over 1000 lawyers with offices across the globe. The latest move gives the firm a six-attorney outpost in Singapore and plans for two Vietnam offices by the spring of 2007. New York partner Eduardo Ramos-Gomez, the former Mexican ambassador to Singapore, will serve as managing partner of Duane Morris’ office there with a group of five new partners culled from several international firms. The firm will also open two offices in Vietnam within the next several months, placing one in Hanoi and the other in Ho Chi Minh City. Ramos-Gomez was the ambassador from 1998 to 2001 and has been a partner at Duane Morris since 2004. He practices in the areas of international and corporate law with a focus on advising multinational and foreign companies in Asia, North America, Europe and Latin America on cross-border direct foreign investment, project development and project finance. Joining as partners in the Singapore office are former DLA Piper partner Rudy Lim, former White & Case associate Lian Yok Tan, former Shearman & Sterling counsel Sandor Schick and former Jones Day counsel Adam Summerly. Chris Muessel, currently special counsel at Baker McKenzie, will join the Singapore office Feb. 1. The office will start out with a focus on corporate finance, project finance, energy, cross-border transactions, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and telecommunications. Douglas Woloshin, managing partner of Duane Morris’ Washington, D.C., office played an integral role in setting up the firm’s Asian presence. He will continue a liaison function with the new offices and will now lead the firm’s project finance practice group. That group is a key component of the firm’s Asian practice, the firm has said. “We understand our Singapore office will place us among the top five U.S. firms in Singapore and at the time we open our Vietnam offices, we will be only one of two U.S.-based firms in Vietnam,” Bonovitz said in a statement. The Singapore partners will service clients in, or with interests in Cambodia, China and Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. The office and staff are fluent in most of the languages of the countries in which the firm services clients. The firm pointed to fast-growing economies in both Singapore and Vietnam as one of the reasons it looked to those areas for growth opportunities. Read more about it in Wednesday’s Legal.

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