Law firm SNG Partners to enter Singapore next month

Law firm SNG Partners will be opening its first overseas branch in Singapore next month to capitalise on the concentration of financial services companies in the island nation.

Despite opposing entry of overseas peers, a rising number of domestic law firms are spreading their wings abroad.

"We will be opening our first overseas branch in Singapore early next month. We have all the necessary approvals from the office of the auditor general of city-state," SNG Partners' managing partner Rajesh Narain Gupta told PTI.

SNG, which specialises in financial sector and has over 40 banks, including SBI, PNB, BoB, ICICI Bank, Citi, StanC and HSBC among others as its clients, has five offices in the country- Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Chennai.

Most of these companies have presence in the city-state.

Asked why the firm chose Singpaore and not a European or American city, Gupta said, "Largely because of the concentration of financial services companies there. Moreover, the island nation is home to over 5,000 Indian companies."

Also, Singapore is the centre for arbitration in Asia, and its judiciary is quite fast in disposing petitions, he said.

Gupta said the branch will be a subsidiary and it will be manned by three people to begin with. Amit Agarwal, who is the head of corporate sector in Mumbai office will be supervisor while Rahul Sood, who passed out from the National University of Singapore, currently in the Delhi office, will be the branch head.

Law firms like Nishit Desai Associates (which opened its Singapore branch early 2000) and Wadia Ghandy and Dua Associates, among others, opened their Singapore office a few years back.

SNG, set up about 50 years ago by the Late S N Gupta, who was an acclaimed banking lawyer jurist, is today a full service law firm. It has focus on financial services sector with banks, financial institutions, investment banks, and private equity players, apart from infrastructure, M&As, IPR, corporate restructuring, FDI, capital markets, realty, will executor and estate management and taxation.