Clifford Chance has announced that it will close its Bangkok office and end an exclusive association in Indonesia in an effort to concentrate its Southeast Asia practice in Singapore.

The decision was announced internally on Thursday. The winding down of the Bangkok office is expected to take between 12 to 15 months, while the association between Clifford Chance and Jakarta-based Linda Widyati and Partners will end in October of this year when the name partner of the firm, Linda Widyati, retires.

Geraint Hughes, who took over as the firm’s Asia Pacific managing partner, said the decision was driven by client demand. “Concentrating our Southeast Asia resources and capability in our existing regional hub in Singapore, investing in systems and innovation that will further enhance our service to clients, and using leading local law firms in each jurisdiction, ensures we are best equipped to respond to this demand,” said Hughes.

In Bangkok, where Clifford Chance opened its office in 1996, the firm currently has 26 lawyers, including three partners: office head Fergus Evans, who has been with the firm since 1993, M&A partner Andrew Matthews, and banking partner Joseph Tisuthiwongse.

No decision has been made as to what will happen to members of the Bangkok office. “We’ve only just informed our staff and clients and we will be talking with our people over the coming weeks about the transition plan and what it means for them individually,” said Hughes.

Hughes also said that the firm was very grateful to the service and contribution of lawyers and staff in Bangkok and would provide them with full support during the transition period.

In Jakarta, where Clifford Chance launched the association with Linda Widyati in January 2014, resident partner Jeroen Koster, who has been on secondement from the Amsterdam office, will return. Linda Widyati and Partners will dissolve following Widyati’s retirement. The firm has about 13 lawyers now.

Clifford Chance declined to disclose financial performance for individual offices, but maintained that regional revenues in Asia have been growing. The firm reported 50 percent growth in Asia Pacific revenues between 2011 and 2016, and said it is “currently on track to deliver its best year ever.”

Hughes said the change would lead to further expansion of Clifford Chance’s Singapore office. The measures will include adding new partners and taking additional office space in the city-state over the next few months. The firm now has 86 lawyers in Singapore, including 23 partners. Before taking on the regional managing partner role, Hughes had managed the Singapore office for six years.

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