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Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary And Partner Moves - December 2017

(As excerpted from our monthly Associate Newsletter - Asia Pacific)

Associate Newsletter – Asia Pacific is a monthly resource that reports current legal market news, trends, partner moves and active opportunities in the Asia Pacific legal markets.

Legal Market Summary


Hong Kong market remains active in recruitment at the associate level. Corporate finance and FCPA have been the busiest areas. US-qualified M&A lawyers are also in demand. Partners are particularly keen to see candidates who have gained a couple of years’ experience in the US, UK or Australia and are looking to return to Asia. Mandarin language skills are still highly desired. We expect the recruitment market will remain into the new year.


We have seen a steady month in terms of opportunities in both Beijing and Shanghai. Corporate seems to have been the busiest area, with firms recruiting junior associates into their teams as they see a good flow of work coming into the new year. FCPA is another area of interest to firms, and we have seen some flexibility in location for these roles to be based either in China or Hong Kong.


The Singapore market has been steady. Most of the opportunities available arise on a replacement basis. Law firms are investing into the Singapore market and are looking to make some noise with their senior hiring. This is a space to watch for early next year. Following some of the upcoming senior movements, associate level recruitment should pick up.


Korea remains steady with opportunities focused around corporate M&A and private equity. There is still a strong preference for US-qualified talent with fluency in Korean looking to return to Seoul. English fluency is important for drafting, sometimes preferred over Korean fluency. High-quality training and academics are essential for the market at the moment.


Sydney is busy across corporate, IT/TMT, real estate and finance with most large firms having needs at different levels across these practice areas. There are also a good amount of roles within investment funds across top-tier firms.


Melbourne has seen an uptick in demand for real estate lawyers almost across the board with corporate and finance not too far behind. Construction litigation and environment & planning are two further areas where demand is being noted.


Demand for legal talent in Perth is high with global and top-tier law firms looking to hire associate and senior associate-level candidates across their corporate, real estate and construction practice groups.

* * * * * * *

Recent Partner Moves in Asia Pacific






Laurence Ho

Private Wealth

Stephenson Harwood


Hong Kong

Xiaoyan Zhang

IT, Privacy and Data Security

Reed Smith, San Francisco (Counsel)

Mayer Brown JSM, Hong Kong

San Francisco / Hong Kong

Barbara Voskamp


Loyens & Loeff

Ernst & Young


Kenneth Szeto

Banking and Finance

Withers KhattarWong

Colin Ng & Partners


Tan Mei Yen

Restructuring and Insolvency

Oon & Bazul



Prakash Raja Segaran


Allen & Overy

Shook Lin & Bok


Chris Redden

Project Finance


Norton Rose Fulbright


Stuart Fuller

Banking and Finance

KPMG (Head of Legal)

King & Wood Mallesons (Global Managing Partner)


Simon Black



Allen & Overy (Managing Partner)


Nina Kim

Corporate and Finance


Kim & Chang


These listed partner moves are obtained from both public sources and Major, Lindsey & Africa. This list is not intended to represent Major, Lindsey & Africa as the consultancy involved in the moves, although some moves may have been brokered by Major, Lindsey & Africa.

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