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Eastern expansion

Walkers and Goodwin Procter both opened offices in Asia in January.

Although Asian public markets are cooling, the legal industry is still booming as two more global firms have opened offices in the region.

Offshore law firm Walkers has opened a new office in Singapore. Walkers' decision to open this office was driven by increasing demand for Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands legal and corporate services in Singapore and other countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, the firm said in a statement. Walkers is the first law firm to provide practicing Cayman Islands counsel based in Singapore, and will also have BVI counsel practicing in the new office.

The new office opened on 2 February 2009. Partners Ashley Gunning and John Rogers will launch the office. Rogers will lead the finance team in Singapore. He was the first finance lawyer in Walkers' Hong Kong office when it opened five years ago, and he has an extensive existing Singapore and regional client base. Gunning will lead the investment funds and corporate groups in the new office. Gunning previously spent five years in Singapore with international law firm Norton Rose before joining Walkers in 2004. He has expertise in hedge funds and private equity, as well as general corporate matters, having worked in both the Cayman Islands and the BVI.

Also in January, Goodwin Procter opened its first office in Asia. Located in Hong Kong, the office will focus on the firm's expertise in private equity, venture capital, technology companies and fund formation. Last fall, the firm registered to practice as a foreign law firm in Hong Kong and this month moves to permanent office space in the Bank of China building. The firm said it will explore additional opportunities for office locations in Asia as part of its long-term global strategy.

Goodwin Procter partners Yash Rana and Brian McDaniel are launching the new office. Both represent private equity and venture capital clients that are forming funds and investing in Asian companies, especially in China and India, as well as representing technology and life sciences companies with operations or expansion opportunities in the region.

Rana, a partner in Goodwin Procter's private equity group, has relocated to Hong Kong from New York. He has a broad-based transactional practice, with particular emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and private equity. Rana leads Goodwin Procter's India practice and has deep experience in representing clients in cross-border transactions, especially investments into India. McDaniel, a partner in Goodwin Procter's private investment funds practice, has relocated to Hong Kong from Silicon Valley. McDaniel specialises in the formation and operation of private equity and venture capital funds investing in China, India and other Asian countries. He has extensive experience in international fund structures and represents many clients based in Asia.