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Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary And Partner Moves - December 2018

(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

Associate recruitment has remained active throughout December in Hong Kong. However, given the holiday season and partners being away, the recruitment process has slowed down. However, a few US firms still remain busy trying to close deals before the year end.

Corporate finance, funds and finance lawyers are in demand. With the consultation of new requirements from the Hong Kong Law Society on the ratio of registered foreign lawyer and Hong Kong-qualified lawyer, law firms are more inclined to see local-qualified candidates or dual Hong Kong and overseas-qualified lawyers in the market. The potential change will affect law firms in their hiring strategy. It has less impact on firms with their own training programmes, which allows law firms to maintain a consistent flow of Hong Kong-qualified lawyers in the firm. It will be interesting to see the new development to the change.

CHINA

As we approach the end of the year, we are still seeing corporate M&A as the main focus of hiring in China. Investigations practices have quieted significantly in terms of hiring, and firms are being cautious in hiring too aggressively in this space. The PRC firms are also aggressively growing both in the Mainland and Hong Kong, recruiting significant teams and partners in the market with a view toward growth.

SINGAPORE

The Singapore market has been steady. Most of the opportunities available arise on a replacement basis. Following some senior movements, there has been activity at the associate level.

FCPA seems to be an upcoming area for the Singapore market. A few firms are looking to grow the sector and foresee hiring needs in the area for Q1 of next year.

SOUTH KOREA

Seoul still remains a quiet market at present. Corporate is still the preferred area to hire into, with a couple of firms speculatively open to hiring talent. Most firms seem to be focused on mentoring and developing their current teams before taking on lateral associate hires, which they anticipate to do mid-way through next year.

JAPAN

M&A and related activities continue to be an impetus in the market, a trend that is predicted to continue in 2019. In addition to a strong demand for M&A transactional lawyers, there has been a demand for Japanese-qualified lawyers and bilingual foreign-qualified lawyers with three years’ PQE+ across firms.

AUSTRALIA

Overall, 2018 has been a stellar year for Australian law firms with almost all major firms having experienced significant revenue growth due to high demand for their services stemming from the royal bank commission, major infrastructure project spending and an increase of inbound foreign investment. With a higher demand for their services than in years past, law firms across Australia increased headcount across almost all practice areas and continue to compete fiercely for top transactional, disputes and regulatory lawyers.

As we head into the end of year, recruitment is slowing down and will eventually come to a halt as firms shut down over the break until they re-open again in early January. However, the high levels of appetite that we have seen from firms in Sydney in 2018 remains strong moving through December and we don’t anticipate much of a change in Q1 of 2019. High demand from major international and national firms is continued to be seen across litigation, corporate/M&A, banking & finance, regulatory, funds, real estate, construction, insurance and employment practice groups.

Mirroring Sydney, the Melbourne private practice legal market remains active with international and national law firms maintaining their demand for top talent across banking & finance, corporate/ M&A and regulatory lawyers as well as mid-level real estate lawyers.

We haven’t seen too much movement across the Perth legal market; however, there is certainly substantial recruitment activity and an appetite for top corporate, energy and finance lawyers at the 1–5 years’ PQE across the major firms with a presence in this market.

 

Partner Moves

Partners

Practice

To

From

Location

Rosita Chu

Corporate

Pinsent Masons

Luk & Partners

Hong Kong

Denis Petkovic

Corporate and Finance

FitzGerald Lawyers

Withers
(Senior Partner)

Hong Kong

Balbir Bindra

Aviation Finance

Unknown

Ince & Co

Hong Kong

David Morrison

Securities Litigation

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Hong Kong

William Barber

Disputes

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Hong Kong

Nathan Dentice

Disputes

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Hong Kong

Alex Kaung

Disputes

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Hong Kong

Eddy So

Disputes

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Hong Kong

Desmond Yu

Disputes

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Hong Kong

Desmond Liaw

Employment

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Hong Kong

David Harrington

Insurance

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Hong Kong

Steven Birt

Intellectual Property

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Hong Kong

Jonathan Green

Litigation

MinterEllison

Reed Smith Richards Butler
(Senior Consultant)

Hong Kong

Freda Lim

Private Practice

Hugill & Ip

Vivien Teu & Co
(Consultant)

Hong Kong

Richard Keady

Disputes Resolution

Dentons

Bird & Bird

Hong Kong

Robert Rhoda

International Arbitration

Dentons

Bird & Bird

Hong Kong

Kareena Teh

Corporate and Commercial Disputes

LC Lawyers

Dechert

Hong Kong

Yitai Hu

Patent Litigation

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, Palo Alto

Alston & Bird, Beijing

Beijing / Palo Alto

Yan Gong

Trademark

Clyde & Co

China PAT Intellectual Property Office

Beijing

Cathryn Jin

Corporate

JunHe

Fangda Partners
(Counsel)

Beijing

Babita Ambekar

Corporate

DWF

Duane Morris & Selvam
(Special Counsel)

Singapore

Matthew Nelson

Corporate

HWL Ebsworth

Norton Rose Fulbright
(Special Counsel)

Sydney

Fabio Fior

Construction

HWL Ebsworth

Squire Patton Boggs

Darwin

Natalie Cambrell

Financial Services

HWL Ebsworth

Lander & Rogers

Melbourne

Randall Gerkens

Real Estate

K&L Gates

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Melbourne

Andrew Spalding

Tax

Mills Oakley

Norton Rose Fulbright

Melbourne

Nirangjan Nagarajah

M&A

White & Case

Gilbert + Tobin

Melbourne

Adrian Jones

Real Estate

Norton Rose Fulbright

Scape Student Living Ltd. (General Counsel)

Melbourne

David Lyons

Banking and Finance

DLA Piper

Herbert Smith Freehills

Brisbane

James Lee

Disputes and Arbitration

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Los Angeles

White & Case, Seoul

Seoul / Los Angeles

Sourav Kanti De Biswas

Corporate

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas

Delhi

Sugandha Asthana

Corporate

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas

AZB & Partners

Mumbai

Shweta Dwivedi

Corporate

Link Legal

Khaitan & Co

Mumbai

Sudipta Routh

M&A

IndusLaw

Samvad Partners

Mumbai

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