Australian law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has secured Qualified Foreign Law Firm licence from Bar Council Malaysia and will now open an office in Kuala Lumpur.

Expected to open in May 2017, the Kuala Lumpur office will offer advice on transactions, disputes and Islamic finance. It will also be a hub for the firm's Islamic finance expertise.

The new office, which will be the company’s ninth office in Asia, is subject to final regulatory and administrative processes.

Herbert Smith Freehills: "I'd like to thank Bar Council Malaysia for approving our application and look forward to repaying its faith in our firm. After working with Malaysian clients for over 20 years, we are delighted that we can now offer them legal expertise on the ground in Kuala Lumpur, providing easier local access to our international network for their overseas business.

"The new office will also be welcomed by our many international clients with existing operations and investments in Malaysia, and by those planning expansion into Southeast Asia."

Herbert Smith Freehills managing partner of Asia and Australia Justin D'Agostino said: "We are looking forward to contributing to the Malaysian legal, business and local communities as we grow our practice.

"Developing local relationships is one of our key priorities, and we intend to continue working closely with Malaysian law firms, with whom we already have very strong connections."