Allen & Overy’s ASEAN chairman has relocated to Myanmar to strengthen the international firm’s presence after the liberalisation of its legal market.

Corporate partner and chairman Simon Makinson started managing A&O’s Yangon office since it launched in May 2013. The firm has worked hard on the Myanmar practice since sanctions were lifted in 2012.

“Myanmar’s significant operational challenges made it imperative that we establish an on-the-ground presence – the first major international firm to do so,” Makinson said in a recent media statement.

Makinson acted as A&O’s representative on the UK/Myanmar financial services taskforce, established in 2013 to support the development of Myanmar’s financial services sector. He has over 25 years’ experience in Asia and specialises in M&A, FIG, real estate transactions, FDI and telecom matters.

The firm’s Myanmar group represents clients in sectors such as telecommunications, financial services, manufacturing, consumer electronics, energy and natural resources. Its team – who acted for Telenor in Myanmar’s 2014 telecom’s licensing bid  – are supported by the A&O Bangkok and Singapore offices.