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Harry Elias parts ways with global legal giant

FOLLOWING a three-year merger, Singapore law firm Harry Elias Partnership and global international law firm Eversheds Sutherland will part ways on June 30, the parties announced on Friday.

Managing partner Philip Fong, who has headed the merged entity Eversheds Harry Elias since June 1, 2017, said a "review mechanism" at the three-year mark was included when the parties first negotiated the merger.

He said: "On this review, the management of the firm has decided that this merger is not the best option for us going forward. Nevertheless, we look forward to continued cooperation with Eversheds Sutherland, albeit in a different form, for ongoing and future local and regional projects. We remain very committed to a regional outlook and global strategy."

The firm's name will revert to its original, Harry Elias Partnership, from July 1.

Stephen Kitts, managing partner for Eversheds Sutherland in Asia, said: "While there have been many positive milestones over the past three years, both firms feel the time has come to tread a different path. We part as friends and on very good terms, and hope to continue our close relationship in the future."

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In a report in The Straits Times in 2017, Mr Fong said his firm had been looking at ways to internationalise its practice and compete with other legal centres, such as Hong Kong, and that the merger with Eversheds would facilitate that.

Harry Elias Partnership had been involved in high-profile cases involving Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer and Raffles Town Club.

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