One of the Asia-Pacific’s leading law companies, Sydney-based Minter Ellison, has opened an office in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, in recognition of the country’s rapidly emerging economy.

Minter Ellison’s chief executive partner John Weber says, “Mongolia is the logical next step for us. It is an increasingly strategic market with a substantial resource-based economy and is attracting the attention of the global resources industry, including Australian companies. Many of these are Minter Ellison clients.”

The company’s senior partner in Hong Kong, Elisabeth Ellis, has relocated to the new office as a fulltime, resident partner. She’ll be supported by a team of Mongolian lawyers with local staff already recruited.

The Ulaanbaatar office becomes Minter Ellison’s fourth Asian office, with the company’s name already established in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

“I’ve spent considerable time in Ulaanbaatar and witnessed significant momentum, both in terms of the emerging economy in this area and interest from our clients,” says Elisabeth Ellis.

A number of international mining and service companies have a strong presence in Mongolia, including Rio Tinto, Ivanhoe and Vale, Leighton and Macquarie Bank.

“Our geographic expansion has always been client driven, and clients with existing or emerging interests in Mongolia are telling us they want us in that market. We could have opted to continue with fly-in fly-out teams to service their needs, but our experience tells us it’s better to be on the ground working with clients,” says John Weber.

Minter Ellison says there are currently 144 Australian invested companies in Mongolia, with Austrade establishing a permanent presence there in September 2011.

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