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Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills is to open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after receiving a Qualified Foreign Law Firm licence from Bar Council Malaysia.

The Kuala Lumpur office is expected to open in May 2017, subject to final regulatory and administrative processes, and will provide advice on transactions, disputes and Islamic finance.

It will be Herbert Smith Freehills' ninth office in Asia, and the 27th office in its global network.

"I'd like to thank Bar Council Malaysia for approving our application and look forward to repaying its faith in our firm," said Sonya Leydecker, CEO, Herbert Smith Freehills.

"After working with Malaysian clients for over 20 years, we are delighted that we can now offer them legal expertise on the ground in Kuala Lumpur, providing easier local access to our international network for their overseas business."

"The new office will also be welcomed by our many international clients with existing operations and investments in Malaysia, and by those planning expansion into Southeast Asia."

The Malaysian office is the firm's next step in the expansion of the firm's Southeast Asia practice, which will now operate from four of the region's most important business centres – Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur – handling matters for clients in all 10 ASEAN nations from these offices.   

The Kuala Lumpur office will also be a hub for the firm's Islamic finance expertise, with partners skilled in this area working in Kuala Lumpur on a regular basis.

"We are looking forward to contributing to the Malaysian legal, business and local communities as we grow our practice," said Justin D'Agostino, Managing Partner, Asia & Australia.  

"Developing local relationships is one of our key priorities, and we intend to continue working closely with Malaysian law firms, with whom we already have very strong connections."


Notes for editors

  1. Operating from 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.
  2. The firm has some 1,500 lawyers in Asia Pacific, advising clients on complex corporate, disputes and finance matters, currently from offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta*, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo, and in Australia, from Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
  3. Herbert Smith Freehills' relationship with Malaysia dates back over 20 years, and the firm is honoured to have counted the Government of Malaysia and key Malaysian companies and institutions as its clients, as well as many international companies investing in Malaysia.
  4. Malaysia is the latest expansion of the firm's global platform, following the opening of new offices in New York and Doha in 2012;  in Berlin, Frankfurt and Seoul in 2013;  in Johannesburg (and the addition of a foreign law alliance with Singapore law firm Prolegis) in 2015; and in Riyadh** and Düsseldorf in 2016.


* In Jakarta, Herbert Smith Freehills' international counsel practise alongside our affiliate firm, Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung, one of Indonesia’s leading commercial and corporate law firms.

** Legal services are provided in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh, through Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s association with The Law Office of Nasser Al-Hamdan.

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Arriarne Kemp-Bishop

Arriarne Kemp-Bishop, Head of External Communications


Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Sally Greig

Head of Communications, Asia

Hong Kong