Asia Legal Market Summary and Partner Moves - March 2015

(As excerpted from our monthly Associate Newsletter - Asia)

                Hong Kong                 Singapore                 China                 Seoul


US firms recently have been active recruiting mid to senior level corporate associates. Most of the roles that we have been working on tend to cover a mixture of corporate matters that include M&A and IPO work. We also are seeing hiring activity in niche areas such as non-contentious regulatory and construction litigation and arbitration.

As for notable lateral moves in the last month, the market saw Mayer Brown lose three IP partners to Hogan Lovells while Norton Rose strengthened its capital markets practice by hiring former A&O and K&L Gates partner, David Johnson.


MLA is seeing an increasing amount of opportunity in the corporate, banking, and litigation practices in Singapore, with most of the opportunities tending to be at the mid level and above. There also is increasing demand for US capital markets associates. Generally, firms tend to be interested in associates with Indonesian languages given the growth in the work occurring in Indonesia.


Our own Andrew Ng recently attended a Chinese American Lawyers of the Bay Area (CALOBA) event in the Silicon Valley. With the current tech boom in Silicon Valley, we see unique opportunities for associates with Chinese language skills and a background/interest in dealings with private equity and venture capital. Other tech-related areas such as patent litigation and technology transactions would be good areas for associates interested in bridging the gap between China and the US.

Major Silicon Valley firms such as Wilson Sonsini, Fenwick & West, Gunderson, and Cooley all have offices in China and they appear committed for the long term. Notably, we see emerging Chinese tech companies on the rise, along with a fair amount of discussion on the sustainability of these enterprises.

In lateral partner activity, we saw Fenwick & West in Shanghai hire Niping Wu from Kaye Scholer. Mr. Wu joins the corporate practice and is rated a leading private equity lawyer.


Major, Lindsey & Africa will be sponsoring the Korea Outbound & Risk Symposium Seoul 2015 to be held at Lotte Hotel Seoul on 15 April 2015. The Symposium will bring together the cream of Korea's in-house counsel and company directors from both the private and public sectors. Delegates will participate in specific practice area and overseas jurisdiction focused workshops hosted by prominent business leaders and private practice lawyers. They will also get to network, socialize and discuss with their peers the key issues facing counsel and senior corporate decision makers when looking to expand their corporate interests overseas.

The corporate practice remains stable in Seoul. The most notable deals in the past month involve Paul Hastings and Kim & Chang who advised the placement agents on Hyundai Motor Company’s chairman and son’s $1.1 billion sale of shares in logistics firm Hyundai Glovis Co.

In light of recent developments in Seoul, we forecast an increasing demand for anti corruption specialists. South Korea’s legislature approved a new anti-corruption law designed to better tackle government officials in a country where scandals over paid-for favors make frequent headline news.

* * * * * * *








David Kuo


Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy

Allen & Overy

Hong Kong

Alan Chiu

Intellectual Property

Hogan Lovells

Mayer Brown JSM

Hong Kong

Eugene Low

Intellectual Property

Hogan Lovells

Mayer Brown JSM

Hong Kong

David Johnson


Norton Rose Fulbright

K&L Gates

Hong Kong

Ronald Cheng

White Collar Defense

O’Melveny & Myers

U.S. federal prosecutor

Hong Kong, Los Angeles

Nigel Clark


Spring Law, London (COO)

Minter Ellison, Hong Kong

Hong Kong, London

Ai-Leen Lim

Intellectual Property

AWA Asia

Bird & Bird

Hong Kong, Beijing

Chua Eng Hui

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing

Wong Thomas and Leong


Pieter de Ridder


Mayer Brown JSM

Loyens & Loeff


These listed partner moves are obtained from both public sources and Major, Lindsey & Africa. This list is not intended to represent Major, Lindsey & Africa as the consultancy involved in the moves although, some moves may have been brokered by MLA.

* * * * * * *

Maggie KwokMaggie Kwok is a Consultant in the Hong Kong office of Major, Lindsey & Africa. As a member of the Associate Practice Group, Maggie specializes in placing mid to senior level lawyers across Hong Kong and Greater China.


Connect with one of our experienced recruiters to explore new horizons.