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.
The Hong Kong market remains steady. We have openings among teams within private equity, FCPA, finance and employment spaces. Candidates with at least two years of post-qualification experience and strong Chinese skills are desired for most of these roles. For some of the firms, partners do not prefer candidates who exceed six years of post-qualification experience due to the candidate’s expectation on prospect.
We have seen a trend of senior partners moving from international law firms to PRC domestic law firms in the past few months. PRC domestic law firms seem to have taken a bigger role on transactions. Not only acting as the PRC legal counsels but also advising on the international piece. These seem to be the result of the movements and will only continue.
On the recruitment front, we have multiple openings in the banking and corporate M&A space. Law firms are generally keen to speak with PRC nationals who have gained experience overseas and are currently looking to return. Chinese language skills are essential.
The Singapore market has been active. We have multiple openings within the M&A space. US firms are looking for junior to mid-level candidate to join their teams. Candidates with international law firm backgrounds and overseas experience are in demand.
Seoul still remains a steady market at present. Corporate is 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 doing mid-way through next year.
While the APAC region is slowing down M&A activities, in part due to increasing geopolitical concerns, Japanese outbound investment remains a priority. There has been a continuous demand for M&A lawyers. Experienced Japanese-qualified lawyers with strong academic backgrounds and solid training from top firms and bilingual foreign-qualified lawyers with 2–3 years’ PQE+ experience are highly sought after in the market.
As we move through Spring, recruitment activities across the Australian legal market start to heat up in the final push before December and the Christmas break arrive.
Through September and October, as was the case in previous months, we saw global and national law firms continue to show strong demand for commercial litigators to handle financial and banking sector regulatory disputes as well as class action defense matters. Demand also remained high for lawyers with 2–9 years’ PQE across banking & finance, infrastructure & construction (both front end and contentious), real estate, corporate/M&A and technology/TMT.
Firms continue to sponsor UK, New Zealand and South African–qualified lawyers with top-tier experience who wish to relocate to Australia. Demand exists more so for transactional lawyers, especially across finance and corporate. Australian–qualified lawyers who are looking to return home from abroad will also find a healthy array of options to choose from.
|Jean Yu||Capital Markets||Tian Yuan Law||Clifford Chance||Hong Kong|
|Lindsay Gao||Capital Markets||Tian Yuan Law||Sidley Austin (Senior Associate)||Hong Kong|
|Charles Wang||Capital Markets||Tian Yuan Law||Herbert Smith Freehills (Counsel)||Hong Kong|
|Matthew O’Callaghan||Financial Services||Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer||Goldman Sachs (Managing Director and Senior Counsel)||Hong Kong|
|Du Yilong||Corporate||Warburg Pincus (Co-general Counsel for China and Southeast Asia)||Latham & Watkins||Hong Kong|
|Peter Glover||Maritime Disputes||Reed Smith||Norton Rose Fulbright||Hong Kong|
|Meng Ding||Corporate and Finance||Sidley Austin||Kirkland & Ellis||Hong Kong|
|Michael Chik||International Dispute Resolution||Bird & Bird||Norton Rose Fulbright (Counsel)||Hong Kong|
|Kurt Lau||Capital Markets||Hill Dickinson||Eversheds Sutherland (Consultant)||Hong Kong|
|Jonathan Gray||Dispute Resolution||Hugill & Ip||FitzGerald Lawyers (Consultant)||Hong Kong|
|Mark Hughes||Litigation||Eversheds Sutherland||Slaughter and May||Hong Kong|
|Daniel Abercromby||Banking and Finance||Weil Gotshal||Kirkland & Ellis||Hong Kong|
|John Shum||Banking||King & Wood Mallesons||White & Case||Singapore|
|Colin Ong||Corporate and Capital Markets||Eng and Co. (Director)||WongPartnership||Singapore|
|Peter Chow||Arbitration||King & Spalding||Squire Patton Boggs||Singapore|
|Masayuki Okamoto||Finance||Monex Group (Executive Director and General Counsel)||Clifford Chance||Tokyo|
|Tanya Denning||Energy||Baker McKenzie||Ashurst||Melbourne|
|Shane Bilardi||Corporate||DLA Piper||Norton Rose Fulbright||Melbourne|
|James Stewart||Corporate||DLA Piper||Norton Rose Fulbright||Sydney|
|James Clyne||Corporate||K&L Gates||Allens||Perth|