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Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary And Partner Moves - March 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


The Hong Kong market has been steady. The busy areas include corporate M&A and general banking. Most firms are looking for associates at the mid- to senior-level and a few of the offshore firms are also actively recruiting for senior associates. Good work and life balance are more achievable in offshore firms and are still able to provide interesting work to incoming associates. Most of the opportunities we have seen in the market are replacement positions due to many associates moving in-house. We predict that the market will remain steady and continue to have openings, especially at the larger firms.


We have now launched our Singapore office with the arrival of Ash Raivadera at the helm of the office. Having met with a number of law firm clients over the past week, the consistent message from the market is that most of the roles will focus on replacement hiring rather than growth. Whilst there is a lot of commodity work still being done in Indonesia and corporate/capital markets work in India, firms are increasingly aware of using their own global network to attract talent to Singapore. With global issues such as Brexit still at the forefront of associates' minds in London, firms have seen an increasing number of requests for internal transfer to other offices.

To make a successful move to an international firm, associates must have strong, consistent deal experience. Those who have made multiple moves will find it tough to convince a firm of their long-term commitment to the practice. The good news is that Singapore is a fast-paced market and so things do change quickly and new roles can come through weekly.


The market in China has not changed significantly over the last few months, and this month is no different. Due to our strong relationship with many of the large US and UK firms in multiple markets, there is some insight that changes on the management committees for some of the international law firms will potentially affect their long-term China/Asia strategies going forward.


March has been a steady month for hiring in Australian firms. Corporate is fairly busy among many of the global firms, and with the prediction that 2017 will be a strong year for Asia-Pacific M&A, it safe to assume that corporate needs across many of the firms will continue to grow. Practices with a construction and infrastructure focus seem to be more active than is usual this month with opportunities arising in litigation, real estate and construction teams.

* * * * * * *







Donovan Ferguson


King & Wood Mallesons


Hong Kong

Janney Chong 


Reynolds Porter Chamberlain 

Sidley Austin

Hong Kong

Julia Gorham


Seyfarth Shaw

DLA Piper

Hong Kong

Lawrence Yeung

Intellectual Property and Technology

ONC Lawyers

Boase Cohen & Collins

Hong Kong

Matthias Schemuth

Finance and Projects

DLA Piper


Hong Kong

Paul Teo

Dispute Resolution and Arbitration

Baker McKenzie


Hong Kong

K. Lesli Ligorner


Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Simmons & Simmons


Edward Bennett

Corporate and M&A 

Morgan Lewis Stamford



Sivakumar Vivekanandan Murugaiyan


RHTLaw Taylor Wessing

Straits Law Practice


Yu-Jin Tay

International Arbitration

Mayer Brown JSM

DLA Piper


Seong Soo Kim


Bae, Kim & Lee

Seoul Central District Court


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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