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Quinn Emanuel Opens in Singapore, Adding Reach in Asia Pacific

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Asia Managing Partner John Rhie and international arbitration partner Duncan Watson KC to lead the new office.

SINGAPORE – Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, the renowned leader in global business litigation, announced today the opening of its office in Singapore. Duncan Watson KC - a partner in the international arbitration practice group and 13-year veteran of the firm - will re-locate to lead the new office with support from Asia Managing Partner, John Rhie. The endeavor comes as the firm sees increased demand for international arbitration within the city-state.

John Quinn, the firm’s Founder and Chairman, stated that “we have had significant Singapore nexus work for many years but with the evolution of South East Asia and India, and the growing importance of Singapore globally, it became increasingly clear we needed to have a physical presence on the ground.”

John Rhie, who also heads the firm’s international arbitration practice in Asia and recently was named “International Law Firm Leader of the Year” at the 2024 Asia Legal Awards held by ALM/ International, will split his time between Hong Kong and Singapore.   

“Singapore plays an increasingly important role in the global economy. Many of our clients are flocking here, and the prevalence of cross-jurisdictional cases continues to grow,” said Watson.  “Quinn Emanuel has been a leader in helping clients with disputes across the Asia-Pacific region and plans to continue this role.”

Duncan was made a King’s Counsel for England & Wales in 2021 at the age of 37, and has been recognized as one of the “most highly regarded” arbitration lawyers in the Asia Pacific region.  Quinn Emanuel is one of the few law firms in Asia who offer their own in-house arbitration-specialist KC.  

The Singapore office will be the 10th office in Quinn Emanuel’s Asia and Australia portfolio. The firm also has offices in Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Doha, Hong Kong, Perth, Riyadh, Shanghai, Sydney, and Tokyo – making it a regional powerhouse.

Quinn Emanuel’s new Singapore operation will adhere to the city-state's Foreign License Practitioner (FLP) regulations and focus the practice on international arbitration, multi-jurisdictional litigation, international regulatory advice, and investigations. The firm’s FLP application has been approved and will continue to partner with local law firms as needed, firm leaders said.