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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES/LEGAL | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore's 25 largest law firms 2013

Local law firms continue to lead the pack with only eight foreign firms making it to the list.

Local law firms have once again dominated Singapore Business Review’s second year ranking of the 25 largest law firms in the city based on the number of legal professionals. Only 8 foreign firms made it to the list with Baker & Mckenzie. Wong & Leow taking the lead. The firm, ranked 7th overall, reported 10% employment growth to 97 in 2013. The 2012 list was re-ranked to reflect only the number of employees that are based in Singapore and lawyers by profession in the final count. Paralegals, trainees and other non-fee income earners were excluded from the counting.

The top five

For the second year in a row, Allen & Gledhill topped the overall list with 352 legal professionals. A European research institute has ranked Allen & Gledhill as one of Singapore’s top five most popular graduate employers in 2013. It is closely followed by Rajah & Tann with 335 legal professionals. The number is 6% lower than the previous year. According to Rajah & Tann’s managing partner Lee Eng Beng, the company expanded its regional footprint significantly over the last years with offices or associated offices in 9 countries, principally in South East Asia.

“2013 was a particularly exciting year. We integrated with two local and well-established law firms in Cambodia and Myanmar (R&T Sok & Heng Law Offices and Rajah & Tann NK Legal respectively).

We also signed a strategic tie-up with Assegaf Hamzah & Partners, Indonesia’s fourth largest law firm, to give our clients access to quality legal services in the largest economy in Southeast Asia. Assegaf Hamzah, with 60 fee earners, is ranked one of the leading go-to firms for corporate law in Indonesia,” he says. WongPartnership remained in 3rd place with 280 legal professionals, 4% up from last year. In 2013, WongPartnership moved its office to Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3. Amongst its significant activities includes the alliance it formed with Malaysian firm Foong & Partners.

Drew & Napier displaced Rodyk & Davidson in 4th place after its number grew by 19% to 224. Amongst its biggest addition to its people is ex-Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Professor S. Jayakumar as a Consultant on 1 May 2013. Rodyk & Davidson, now at 5th place, has grown its number by 2% to 210. Together, the top 25 law firms employed 2,586 legal professionals in Singapore; 3% higher than in 2012. The average number of legal professionals in the top 25 firms was 103.

Employment growth

Local firm Stamford Law Corp posted the biggest jump in employment growth at 44% to 98. It climbed five notches up to 6th place as a result. In 2013, Stamford Law welcomed a former Drew & Napier senior lawyer, Adrian Tan. Stamford is closely followed by another local firm TSMP Law Corp at 34% to 67. In 2013, the firm expanded its services by establishing a Regulatory, Compliance and Crisis Management Desk headed by Collin Seah.

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing is third highest in employment growth at 27% to 84. The firm, ranked 8th, formed RHT Compliance Solutions in August 2013. It is billed as the first and only integrated outfit providing legal and financial services regulatory compliance solutions for financial institutions in Singapore and Malaysia.
 

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