SINGAPORE: Legal firms in Singapore are seeing more business opportunities because of the booming economy and the growing number of foreign investors in Singapore.
Harry Elias Partnership estimates that it is seeing 40 percent more work this year, compared to 2006, due to an increased level of activity, with foreign investors seeking legal assistance in setting up funds and buying assets in the region.
Claudia K.Y. Teo, partner at Harry Elias Partnership, said: "We are definitely seeing an increase in terms of foreign investments into Singapore, using Singapore as a base to go into Asia.
"On the real estate side, we're seeing a lot of foreign clients buying properties either through corporations or through property funds.
"On the corporate finance side, we also see foreign investors coming up, buying equities and wanting to take control of listed companies."
The recent tightening of rules governing collective sales is expected to cool the en bloc market, but Harry Elias said this would not affect law firms.
"The acquisition fever will still go on. In the en bloc sector, we'll probably just see a slight slowing down, but I still think the region is flushed with cash, so they will look at alternative sources of investment," said Ms Teo.
As technology and digital media industries start to become more prominent in Singapore's economy, legal firms are already preparing to tap into these emerging fields.
At Harry Elias Partnership, they said they are seeing at least about 20 percent increase in work involving the biotech sector.
Singapore law firms are also expanding overseas as they seek to tap into business opportunities in China and the Middle East.