Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary And Partner Moves - July 2019


(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


Stepping into summer months, the recruitment market in Hong Kong has not slow down. We have seen a lot of hiring activity in M&A, HK and US capital markets, banking and funds. Majority of the openings are at the mid to senior level. Mandarin is always important for transactional roles, but there are a few openings within the funds, banking and US capital markets teams that do not require Mandarin skills. Firms are open to candidates from the US, London or Australia market.


FCPA teams are busy in Beijing and Shanghai markets. There are several FCPA positions available across US firms, and majority of them are looking at candidates with at least two years of experience. A few other openings appear among UK firms within funds, banking and M&A sectors. Most of these openings are falling within mid-level to senior level.

We have also found law firms are less willing to relocate candidates from the US market and prefer someone with local PRC experience. Some of the candidates who spent a couple of years in the US are facing discount by US firms in Beijing and Shanghai markets given the lack of local experience.


Singapore remains a steady market. We have seen significant hiring activity on litigation teams within the last few months. Corporate and finance are also areas that law firms are looking to invest in.


Seoul remains a steady market. We have seen an increase in hiring opportunities this year from international firms. Applications for these roles have been high, and there is a lot of competition among excellent caliber talent. Fluent Korean language skills and native-level English are still in high demand, but planning and diligence should be taken into account for any future moves.


Active M&A transactions continue to be the market driver. There has been a strong appetite for M&A lawyers as well as Japanese-qualified lawyers and bilingual foreign-qualified lawyers with three years PQE+ across practice groups and firms.


As we begin the new Australian financial year, global and national law firms continue to show strong demand for top lawyers across banking and finance, infrastructure and construction, real estate, corporate/ M&A and technology practice groups. Demand for commercial litigators to handle regulatory as well as class action defense matters also remains high.

Firms continue to look to sponsor UK, New Zealand and South African-qualified lawyers with top-tier experience who wish to relocate to Australia.

Partner Moves

Partners Practice To From Location
Charles Allen Commercial Litigation, International Arbitration RPC Premier Law Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Hong Kong
Mark West Litigation Reed Smith Kennedys Hong Kong
Yue Zhang Investment Funds Fangda Partners Kirkland & Ellis Hong Kong
Norris Yang International Commercial J. E. Jamison & Co. Zhong Lun Law Firm Hong Kong
Max Hua Capital Markets Shearman & Sterling Haiwen & Partners Hong Kong
Huhuan Li Corporate / M&A Han Kun Law Offices Zhong Lun Law Firm Shanghai
Jevon Louis IP Shook Lin & Bok Ravindran Associates Singapore
Baldev Bhinder Energy and Resources Blackstone & Gold Joseph Tan Jude Benny Singapore
Cameron Ford International Arbitration Squire Patton Boggs Rio Tinto Singapore
Hirokazu Ina  Finance Deloitte Jones Day Tokyo
Takashi Tanazawa Finance Deloitte Jones Day Tokyo
Joseph Longo Financial Services Regulatory Herbert Smith Freehills Deutsche Bank (General Counsel) Perth
Harsh Maggon Corporate Trilegal AZB & Partners Mumbai


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