Littler Expands into Asia with Singapore Office

(November 12, 2019) – Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, is expanding its global footprint with the opening of an office in Singapore, the firm’s first in Asia. By bringing its international platform to Singapore, Littler will have a presence in an important business hub that is home to many multinational corporations operating throughout Asia.

The creation of a regional office from which to service clients in the Asia Pacific region marks an important milestone in Littler’s global expansion strategy. With more than 1,500 lawyers across 21 countries, Littler serves as a first-stop shop for multinational companies on labor and employment law matters in multiple jurisdictions around the world.

“Establishing a physical presence in Asia is a natural outgrowth of our extensive experience counseling employers in the region, and follows our significant expansion across North America, Europe and Latin America over the past decade,” said Tom Bender and Jeremy Roth, co-managing directors of Littler, in a joint statement. “The Asia Pacific region is an essential piece of our international strategy and this move further strengthens our ability to provide global labor and employment services to clients.”

Upon final approval by local authorities, the Singapore office will be led by Littler shareholder Trent Sutton, who will be joined in the office by special counsel Nancy Zhang*. Sutton, who speaks Korean and has lived in several countries throughout Asia, focuses his practice on counseling clients on multi-country employment and compliance matters. He regularly conducts cross-border internal investigations, advises on the employment aspects of global expansions and workforce restructurings, and conducts training sessions on human resource issues.

With extensive experience practicing in China, Zhang is qualified to practice in the People's Republic of China. Prior to joining Littler, she practiced at an international law firm in Beijing and served as an in-house counsel at a multinational company headquartered in China. Sutton and Zhang will reside in the Singapore office and will continue to work closely with other attorneys in Littler’s International Employment Law practice and with those licensed in the Asia Pacific region, including shareholder Naomi Seddon, who is admitted to practice in Australia and New Zealand, and special counsel Aki Tanaka, who formerly practiced and is licensed in Japan.

“Trent has been integral in growing the firm’s international client base, particularly in Asia, and is the ideal leader for our efforts in Singapore,” said Stephan Swinkels, a Littler shareholder who helps lead the development and integration of the firm’s global practice. “He and Nancy, who has also been a vital piece of the firm’s service to clients in Asia, bring wide-ranging experience advising employers in Asia and an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of operating of the region.”

From its outpost in Singapore, Littler will continue to advise Asia-based corporations on their human resources and employment law compliance needs in the Americas and Europe, and will now be able to do so from the convenience of a regional presence. Littler also will continue to advise companies based in the Americas and Europe regarding their operations in Asia, including their local Asia or regional offices. With a singular focus on representing management in every aspect of labor and employment law, Littler has a unique ability to help clients strategically design and implement both multi-country and regional human resources initiatives that take into account the local customs, laws and expectations of employers and employees in Asia Pacific.

“I am excited by the additional support this new office will offer our clients and by the opportunity to draw on our knowledge of the region and our local relationships to provide strategic guidance to companies in Asia Pacific on their global HR initiatives,” Sutton said. “Littler’s robust platform and depth of experience positions us well to service companies operating in the region on complying with a complex web of global employment laws.”

“The addition of a Singapore office reaffirms our commitment to servicing companies that have significant presences in Asia Pacific,” Peter Susser, Littler’s Global Practice Leader and chair of the firm’s International Employment Law practice, added. “By opening this office and further growing our capabilities in Asia, we can continue to deliver seamless service to our clients across national boundaries.”

Littler’s international operations now span four continents – North America, South America, Europe and Asia – and include Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela. The firm’s global capabilities also include U.S.-based lawyers with exceptional international experience, who are dually licensed practitioners in Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa, among other countries.

* Trent Sutton and Nancy Zhang are not licensed to practice law in Singapore or appear in local courts. The firm will continue to partner with local firms to service clients on matters related to Singapore law. Sutton and Zhang are in process of requesting authorization from the relevant Singapore legal and immigration authorities to provide foreign law services from the Singapore office.

About Littler

With more than 1,500 labor and employment attorneys in offices around the world, Littler provides workplace solutions that are local, everywhere. Our diverse team and proprietary technology foster a culture that celebrates original thinking, delivering groundbreaking innovation that prepares employers for what’s happening today, and what’s likely to happen tomorrow. 

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