BLP strengthen international arbitration team with hire of Kent Phillips to Singapore office

Law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner today announced the appointment of international arbitration partner Kent Phillips to its Singapore office. This senior hire is the first contentious appointment based in the region and Kent is the fourth partner appointment to the Singapore office in the same year that BLP opened in Hong Kong. 

Kent, who was previously at Addleshaw Goddard in London, has more than a decade of proven global expertise across a wide variety of contentious work and specialises in litigating and arbitrating complex cross border disputes.  He is best known for his work with clients in the energy and financial service sectors, in matters often involving emerging jurisdictions.  He has recently been involved in work relating to India, as well as a significant and high profile dispute relating to Russian interests.

From a Singapore base, Kent will advise clients with interests in South East Asia and further afield including India and mainland China, who choose to arbitrate in Singapore, and elsewhere in the region. This is a very significant appointment for BLP as it continues to grow its litigation and arbitration capabilities both within the UK and internationally. It follows the appointment of Nic Fletcher, formerly of Clifford Chance, who joined BLP in 2009 to head the international arbitration team and also builds on BLP’s international offering after the 2011 appointment of Singapore managing partner Alistair Duffield, who with a team of lawyers has doubled the size of BLP’s Singapore office. The Singapore team was further bolstered by the promotion of finance specialist David Brotherton to partner and the appointment of private client partner Simon Michaels both of whom advise clients in South East Asia from BLP’s Singapore base.

Singapore managing partner, Alistair Duffield said: “We are pleased to be able to attract someone of Kent’s calibre to spearhead our arbitration offering from Singapore. It says a great deal about the progress the office has made since it opened in 2007, despite the turbulent economic climate, and builds on our multidisciplinary office in Hong Kong.”

Nic Fletcher, BLP head of international arbitration, said: “As the global economic focus moves from west to east, clients who have interests in the wider Asian region are choosing Singapore as a hub to resolve their disputes through international arbitration. Kent’s appointment helps us address the significant client needs in the region and gives us a presence in what is the leading regional centre for international arbitration. Singapore is a very arbitration-friendly jurisdiction and it is a natural choice for us to expand our international arbitration offering by having a partner on the ground there.”

Commenting on the move, Kent said: “Through the expansion of the Singapore and Hong Kong offices, BLP has demonstrated its commitment to the region and is well placed to develop an international arbitration practice in Singapore and the wider region. I am excited about working with such a highly regarded team who have real strength and depth.”

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