Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary And Partner Moves - May 2020


(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


Many law firms in Hong Kong reopened their offices on 11th May following the government’s announcement that most public services would also resume on the same day. However, a number of these firms saw their lawyers and staff return to temporarily implemented measures in the form of pay cuts (ranging from 5% - 25%), mandatory unpaid leave policies among others.  Although recruitment efforts have not returned to pre-pandemic levels, we see active needs in the banking & finance, restructuring, arbitration, and private client areas. Encouragingly, we also can report that despite the COVID-19 situation some firms have progressed with their plans to make up new partners.


Almost all law firms in Beijing and Shanghai have returned to working in the office. We have noted a slight pick up on recruitment activities where partners are interested to meet candidates within the FCPA and corporate space. These opportunities are available to mid-level to senior level lawyers. Still, majority of the firms are being cautious on recruitment and would like to take things slowly. 


Singapore is remaining under the COVID-19 lock down but looking to lift in three phrases starting on June 2. Many international law firms have remained cautious in their associate hiring processes.


Major law firms across Australia report high levels of activity across most practice areas, however firms remain cautious regarding recruitment.

This week saw Perth officially open back up for business with the majority of Australia’s BigLaw firms welcoming staff back into their Perth offices, albeit in staggered and conservative fashion. In the coming week or two, as schools re-open across many states including in NSW, law firms across Australia will also begin inviting their staff back into their respective offices.

During May, Australia’s major law firms have reported increased levels of work activity across Litigation, Regulation, Employment and Competition.

Partner Moves

Partners Practice To From Location
Sherlin Tung International Arbitration Withers CMS (Senior Associate) Hong Kong
James Pedley Financial Markets Simmons & Simmons Clifford Chance (Foreign Legal Consultant) Hong Kong
Kenneth Ching Leveraged Finance Baker McKenzie Shearman & Sterling (Counsel) Hong Kong
Ke Jiang Compliance King & Wood Mallesons Amazon Web Service Beijing
Yingzhi Shan Securities King & Wood Mallesons Commerce & Finance Law Offices Shanghai
Jonathan Zhou Capital Markets Alibaba-Affiliated Ant Financial (General Counsel) Fangda Partners (Co-Founder) Shanghai
Swee Siang Boey Commercial and Employment Disputes RPC Premier Law Bird & Bird Singapore
Navin Joseph Lobo Compliance RPC Premier Law Bird & Bird Singapore
Yuankai Lin International Arbitration RPC Premier Law Bird & Bird Singapore
Johnny Lim Corporate Resource Law (Director) Shook Lin & Bok Singapore
Evan Lam Financial Regulations ADTLaw Allen & Gledhill Singapore
Shaun Langhorne Restructuring Clifford Chance Hogan Lovells Singapore
Paul McNab Tax DLA Piper PwC Sydney
Shaun Clyne Private Equity Funds MinterEllison Norton Rose Fulbright Sydney
John Fogarty Litigation DLA Piper Corrs Chambers Westgarth Melbourne
Tim Mathers Real Estate Ashurst DLA Piper Brisbane
Matthew Bull Antitrust Jones Day Herbert Smith Freehills Brisbane
Charmaine Tsang Employment, Industrial Relations Holman Fenwick Willan Australian Women Lawyers Perth
Paul Shillington Oil and Gas Hogan Lovells Minter Ellison Perth
YongSang Kim International Dispute Resolution Yulchon O'Melveny & Myers (Counsel) Seoul


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