Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary And Partner Moves - August 2021

(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

Remarkably, legal recruitment activity in Hong Kong continues to remain robust. The current demand is for associates at the mid- to senior-level in the corporate, finance and funds practices. The last few months also have reflected a substantial interest from firms looking to hire within the M&A and capital markets sector, which we forecast will remain active for the rest of the year. Continuing an ongoing trend, lawyers with a couple of years of overseas (e.g., US and UK) experience and strong Chinese language skills will receive particular attention from firms.

CHINA

In August, recruitment activity in Beijing and Shanghai remained largely unchanged from prior months, which is to say, steady. The busier practices are FCPA, HKIPO and M&A. Most hiring is occurring at the junior to mid-level range. Where relocation from outside of China is contemplated, holding PRC citizenship status will be a critical decision-making factor for firms due to the ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions and corresponding visa delays.

SINGAPORE

Singapore business activity continues to increase, which is reflected in the growing legal recruitment activities we are observing. Following multiple departures at law firms, we have several new associate openings at the 1-6 years’ PQE level. M&A, finance, US capital markets and funds are active.

SINGAPORE - Interim Legal

The banking and technology sectors remain active. We continue to see law firm associates keen to explore short-term contracts as it gives them the opportunity to explore an in-house setting. With Singapore relaxing its COVID-19 restrictions, employers can now allow 50 percent of their employees to work from the office. We are finding that legal professionals in the Singapore market are generally glad about this balance between working from home and working from the office.

SOUTH KOREA

Law firms are operating mostly business as usual in Korea although international business travel remains difficult and COVID-19 cases have been rising. There are currently limited hiring opportunities at major international and Korean law firms for highly qualified bilingual corporate and litigation associates as well as open in-house positions. For associates, three or more years of prior US experience is particularly helpful.

JAPAN

With Tokyo under yet another state of emergency, most lawyers are still working principally from home. Nonetheless, many firms are getting busier, and there are quite a few associate-level recruiting efforts underway for capital markets and M&A associates. Firms are finding it difficult to fill new positions given the inability to get visas for lawyers currently working outside of Japan. Strong language skills and credentials are a must. The in-house sector also continues to be very active with lots of great roles open for bilingual lawyers with five-plus years of experience.

AUSTRALIA

The extended COVID-19 lockdowns in NSW and Victoria have not slowed the levels of hiring demand that we continue to see from all major law firms in Sydney and Melbourne with most firms having multiple needs across a wide range of practice groups.

Since July, Corporate/M&A continues to be the main practice area in demand followed closely by banking and finance. Financial services and regulatory lawyers as well as litigators with experience in defense of class actions and regulatory investigations are also in demand by many of the top-tier and large global law firms.

With the Australian national border and state borders closed off between NSW and Victoria, law firms must rely on attracting candidates from their own city or from New Zealand – which has formed a travel bubble with Australia.

Partner Moves

Partners

Practice

To

From

Location

Paul Guan

Private Equity, Real Estate

Kirkland & Ellis

Paul Hastings

Hong Kong

Benjamin Wang

Capital Markets

Jia Yuan Law Firm

Zhong Lun Law Firm

Hong Kong

Yucheng Fan

Investment Funds

Harneys

Maples

Hong Kong

Margie Chan

Capital Markets

White & Case

Norton Rose Fulbright

Hong Kong

Chiang Ling Li

IP

Tiang & Partners

Jones Day

Hong Kong

Joseph Chu

Litigation

Withers

Simmons & Simmons

Hong Kong

Mark Yeadon

Litigation

Conyers

Eversheds Sutherland

Hong Kong

Yanglong Li

Corporate Compliance

Hylands Law Firm

Real Long Law Firm

Beijing

Chunjie Lv

Litigation

Hylands Law Firm

Yuanhe Partners

Beijing

Ying Yang

M&A

Broad & Bright Law Firm

Xin Bai Law Firm

Shanghai

Liang Chen

Capital Markets

Han Yi Law Offices

Commerce & Finance Law Offices

Shanghai/
Beijing

Wenhao Chen

Data Compliance

Merits & Tree Law Firm

AllBright Law Offices

Shanghai

Devottam Sengupta

Trade and Commodities

Hill Dickinson

Greensill Capital

Singapore

Iain Sharp

Trade and Commodities

Hill Dickinson

Gunvor Group

Singapore

Sidharth Bhasin

Energy and Infrastructure

Latham & Watkins

Shearman & Sterling

Singapore

James Clayton-Payne

Energy and Infrastructure

Latham & Watkins

Shearman & Sterling

Singapore

Don Stokes

Energy and Infrastructure

Latham & Watkins

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Singapore

William Stroll

Energy

Pinsent Masons

Herbert Smith Freehills

Singapore

Biswajit Chatterjee

Capital Markets

Hogan Lovells

Squire Patton Boggs

Singapore

Daniel Koh

Real Estate

CNPLaw

Family Justice Court

Singapore

Robert Child

Restructuring, Insolvency

Ashurst

Clifford Chance

Singapore

Chris Bailey

Arbitration

Stephenson Harwood

King & Spalding

Singapore

Andrew Digges

Projects

Norton Rose Fulbright

Ashurst

Singapore

Chen Guan Feng

Banking and Finance

Withers KhattarWong

Morgan Lewis Stamford

Singapore

Barry Irwin

M&A

Nardello & Co, London

Allen & Overy, Singapore

Singapore/
London

Richard Lee

Capital Markets

Latham & Watkins

Clifford Chance, Hong Kong

Seoul

Christopher Flynn

Projects

White & Case

Gilbert + Tobin

Sydney

Tim Kennedy

Projects

White & Case

Gilbert + Tobin

Sydney

Hong-Viet Nguyen

Financial Regulation

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Ashurst

Sydney

Angela Wood

Tax

Clayton Utz

KPMG Law

Melbourne

 

Partner moves are obtained from both public sources and Major, Lindsey & Africa market intelligence. The 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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