Allen & Overy leads the pack in South Africa; Singapore to open up to foreign lawyers

Allen & Overy to set up Johannesburg office… Singapore takes aim at regional rival… lawyers to get free training in cyber crime… Indian lawyers return home to make a name for themselves…

Allen & Overy leads the pack in SA
Allen & Overy has announced that it is to become the first of the global elite law firms to establish a presence on the ground in South Africa. The Johannesburg office will comprise a team of leading South African lawyers, led by partner Lionel Shawe and Michael Duncan, one of the City of London’s leading banking lawyers, who will be relocating to Johannesburg. The office will open on 20 October and it is anticipated it will grow to about 40 lawyers in 2015.
 
Singapore takes aim at regional rival
Singapore is set to allow foreign lawyers and judges to appear in its new International Commercial Court. The move has been put to the country’s parliament as Singapore aims to become a major force in the region following reforms of its legal services. Hong Kong is an obvious target. It has a history and reputation for international litigation but with concerns growing over its judicial and political independence from Beijing there is an opportunity for Singapore to offer a credible alternative.
 
Lawyers to get free training in cyber crime
The legal and accountancy professions are to receive free online training to help them understand and combat the threat or cyber attacks. The initiative which is backed by the UK government, will aim to strengthen law firms’ own defences against cyber threats but also give them confidence and resources to advise their clients on how to protect themselves. The content for the course is the result of collaboration between the government, The Law Society, Solicitors Regulatory Authority and the Institute for Chartered Accountants.
 
Indian lawyers return home to make name for themselves
As India’s economy improves and more large global corporations seek to do more business in the country, there is a buzz around the law business. With foreign law firms unable to set up offices in India local firms are enjoying good times and hiring is at a high. This has led to many Indian lawyers choosing to return home from other jurisdictions having honed their international business skills. The Times of India reports that younger lawyers in particular as keen to move back to India and set up new practice areas in emerging firms “to make a name for themselves for their work rather than the firms they represent.”

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