Goodwin Procter is set to launch a Singapore office, as more international law firms pivot their focus to the country.
According to people at the firm, it has applied to the Ministry of Law in Singapore for a Foreign Law Practice License, which has yet to be approved.
The move comes as a number of international law firms expand their offering in the country.
As part of its regional expansion, Goodwin has separately hired Kirkland & Ellis partner Daniel Dusek for its Hong Kong office, two people at the firm added.
Dusek had been a partner at Kirkland since 2017, acting on several major deals during his time there, including advising on the take-private deal of China’s largest online classifieds marketplace, 58.com Inc., valued at $8.7 billion, and on the $2.6 billion take-private of Sina Corp., which owns one of China’s largest social media platforms—Weibo. Last year, Dusek advised a consortium on the $5.7 billion private equity buyout of Chinese recruiting company 51job Inc.
Prior to joining Kirkland, he was a partner at fellow U.S. led firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He spent over 16 years at Skadden and had been based in the firm’s Beijing, Hong Kong and New York offices during his time there.
Goodwin’s Asia practice, led by long time partner and regional chair, Yash Rana, has been very active in the Southeast Asia deal market recently. The firm advised a private equity firm that participated in One97’s $1 billion Series G funding round, it also represented Bangalore-based fintech startup Razorpay in its $100 million Series D funding round that valued the company at $1 billion.
Over the past 18 months, the firm has grown its Asia headcount with the hires of partner Wendy Pan from Sidley Austin; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison counsel Edwin Chan, and former Simpson Thacher & Bartlett lawyers, Philip Culhane and Elyn Xing, as partners.
For Kirkland, Dusek’s departure marks the fourth partner to leave in Hong Kong this year. Earlier in June, the firm’s long-time funds partner Xing Liyong defected to Clifford Chance.
Kirkland & Ellis did not respond to requests for comments.
Several law firms have shifted their Asia focus to Singapore in recent months. Addleshaw Goddard announced it is closing its Hong Kong office in May, while McDermott Will & Emery relaunched in Asia via Singapore a year after shutting its office in China.
Last year, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe said it was launching an office in Singapore a year after shuttering its Hong Kong outfit.
Several firms have closed their offices in Hong Kong in recent years, including Baker Botts, which announced its closure in December.
In addition, many law firm partners have moved out of Hong Kong, choosing to practice elsewhere.