Wotton + Kearney officially opened its Singapore office this week, establishing itself as a major legal player in insurance and risk across the Asia Pacific region. Wotton + Kearney’s Asia move represents a first for an Australian-domiciled insurance and risk law firm.

Wotton + Kearney’s Asia practice will be led by managing partner Ben Nicholson, who has joined the firm from Kennedys, Singapore together with partner Tom Morrison and a team of five: senior associates Audrey Wong and James Sutherland, who has previously worked for Wotton + Kearney in Sydney, associates Mantita Yeo and Nathaniel Loh, and team secretary Jane Lefort.

With years of experience across the Asia Pacific region, Wotton + Kearney’s Asia team has a comprehensive understanding of regional law and practice in the insurance sector and market nuances that impact the diversity of approaches across the region. Mr Nicholson said that while the team is based in Singapore, it will continue to service clients across Asia and the Middle East with an expanded footprint, creating a truly regional hub for the firm.

“Wotton + Kearney is a firm that has always looked for strategic growth opportunities and this significant move signals that the firm has now firmly set its sights on Asia and beyond. I am excited about joining this dynamic organisation at a time when it is looking at measured international expansion in a market where some traditional competitors are facing challenges.”

Widely recognised as the leading insurance and reinsurance lawyer in Singapore, Mr Nicholson advises on all aspects of specialty risk, with a particular focus on property, energy, engineering and infrastructure risks. He has extensive experience in the Asia Pacific region as well as in the UK, the Middle East and North Africa. Mr Nicholson is known for using his sector expertise and firm grasp of real-world commercial issues to drive complex and high-stake disputes towards practical outcomes.

Tom Morrison also has a focus on property, energy and construction matters, and regularly provides policy coverage advice on Industrial All Risk, CAR, advance loss of profit, delay in start-up and business interruption disputes. He advises on complex engineering losses across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and has experience in international arbitrations under the HKIAC, ICC, LCIA and SIAC Rules.

David Kearney, Chief Executive Partner of Wotton + Kearney, said the Asia team is the perfect fit for the firm.

“We are delighted to officially open our doors in Singapore and welcome Asia’s market-leading insurance team to Wotton + Kearney.”

“Singapore is a regional hub for the global insurance industry, and we look forward to working closely with our clients across Asia and beyond to support their needs,” Mr Kearney said.

Founded in 2002, Wotton + Kearney has grown from two partners to 82 partners and over 450 lawyers across ten offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Singapore.