Kevin Wong is to take over the top job in Linklaters' Singapore office following Andrew Roberts's return to London. Wong will assume the position of managing partner of the office as well as co-chairman of the Linklaters Allen & Gledhill joint law venture.

The creation of that joint venture was one of the key achievements of Roberts's four-year tenure as managing partner. When Singapore's attorney general paved the way for cooperation between overseas and local firms in August 2001, Allen & Gledhill was the preferred choice of most of the foreign firms, with Lucien Wong, rainmaker par excellence, as the main attraction.

Kevin Wong, no relation to Lucien, is a Singaporean but qualified as a lawyer in London and has been at Linklaters since joining as a trainee. His rise through the firm has been rapid, at least in the glacial world of lawyers - he was made a partner in 2000, when he transferred from Hong Kong to set up the firm's second China office, and has 11-years fully qualified experience.

"Kevin's extensive experience in Asia, which includes establishing our successful practice in Shanghai, makes him well positioned to take on the role of managing our practice in Singapore," says Simon Davies, Linklaters' Asian managing partner.

Wong's return to Singapore, his first posting there as a lawyer, comes at a time when Linklaters and Allen & Gledhill are deepening their joint venture. Wong has recently led joint teams on Singapore Technolgies' S$801 million ($464 million) exchangeable, the CAB Holdings $115 million bond offer and DBS's $1 billion Merlion CDO.