Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary October 2022


(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 has removed the requirement for hotel quarantine for arrivals and has since seen an increase in business and personal travel. Funds teams across US and UK firms remain interested in speaking to strong candidates. They are open to relocating the right talent to Hong Kong. We have a handful of openings in the equity capital markets and finance space followed by partner movements. Mid-level lawyers with at least two to three years of post-qualification experience are preferred. Ability to draft in both Chinese and English is important.

Mainland CHINA

The recruitment markets remain steady in Beijing and Shanghai. We have a handful of positions in corporate, litigation and FCPA practices. Most openings are replacement hires. We have a special mandate with an in-house company that would be open to hiring private practice lawyers. They are keen to speak with mid-level lawyers in the data privacy field; someone who has a strong background in Chinese law would be preferred.


As we crank into the final quarter of the year, activity in the Singapore market continues to be robust. There is, of course, the inevitable talk of slowdown and recession coming from bigger, global markets. We have not yet seen that unduly affect hiring. Firms are, however, being cautious, particularly at senior ends. There is still demand for good candidates in our growth areas, namely funds, private equity, finance (especially restructuring) and projects. High-quality academics and experience gained at the best global law firms is always important for our clients. Associates working within top firms in any jurisdiction are encouraged to reach out.

SINGAPORE - (Interim)

Our recent Global In-House Counsel Market Conditions Report found that many lawyers are open to leaving the stability of a permanent role to take an interim position that allows them flexibility, particularly when it comes to their location and commute options (which is the number one priority for consulting lawyers). If they are looking to break into a new field/area of law or move in-house, then candidates are more agreeable about location and willing to go in-person.


The government has now ended all COVID-19 testing requirements for visitors, which should help to increase business travel into Korea. As a result, Major, Lindsey & Africa consultants are excited to be planning a trip to visit Seoul in January. We are really looking forward to meeting people in person in Korea for the first time in three years, so please feel free to reach out to us if you wish to meet up.

The major Korean firms are continuing to grow their foreign law capabilities more quickly than Seoul offices of international law firms, creating opportunities for foreign-qualified associates. With the strength of the US dollar, however, there is a widening gap in compensation for foreign lawyers moving from the US to Korea at all but the top international law firms in Seoul.


Japan finally reopened its borders to non-visa holders on October 11 for the first time since the start of the pandemic. With that change, there will be a dramatic increase in the number of tourist and business visitors to the country, which should hopefully spur an increase in cross-border business. Currently, the inbound market is still busier than outbound, and as a result, there is more demand for bengoshi associates than for foreign lawyers, though several international firms have open roles for foreign associates. While firms are somewhat cautious about hiring given global economic trends, they are seeking associates in a number of strategic areas, and there is no sense of having over-hired last year.


Through October, firms continue to show interest in M&A and private equity lawyers with over three years of experience, along with corporate and project finance lawyers, particularly in the renewable energy space. Financial services, regulatory, and banking and finance lawyers with at least three years of experience are also in large demand in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Partner Moves






Ralph Sellar

Disputes Resolution

Slaughters and May

Debevoise & Plimpton

Hong Kong

Richard Woodworth

Restructuring and Insolvency


Allen & Overy

Hong Kong

Iris Leung


K&L Gates


Hong Kong

Stefano Beghi


Seyfarth Shaw

Gianni & Origoni

Hong Kong

Bosco Yiu


Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison

Goodwin Procter

Hong Kong

Pardeep Singh Khosa


Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Davinder Singh Chambers


Karthik Kumar


Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Jones Day


Divya Thakur

Investment Management

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld


James Bradley

Transportation and Finance

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

K&L Gates


Wei Hong Ling

Insurance Disputes


Marsh and JLT (Vice President)


John Zadkovich


Penningtons Manches Cooper

Vinson & Elkins, Counsel


Tanja Listar

Investment Management

Cleveland & Co.

Maven Securities (Counsel)


Joni Henry

Corporate Energy and Technology

Pinsent Masons



Toby Blyth



Colin Biggers & Paisley


Alice Molan


Herbert Smith Freehills

Walkers, Hong Kong


Richard Hoad

Intellectual Property

Jones Day

Clayton Utz


Ashwin Nair



Cocks Macnish


Kazumitsu Goto



TMI Associates



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