Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary and Partner Moves



(As excerpted from our monthly Associate Newsletter - Asia Pacific)

                China                 Hong Kong                 Singapore                 Australia                 London

CHINA

International firms have seen business slow down slightly, especially in relation to traditional energy and capital market matters. Some partners see it as normal recession of the economy circle and are willing to hire and train the right candidates during this period. Mid- to senior-level associates with U.S./U.K. experience are still in high demand in the market. Tier one U.S./U.K. firms are willing to relocate the right candidate from Hong Kong, U.S., U.K. and Australia. Hot practice areas include M&A, banking and FCPA.


HONG KONG

We have seen a decline in corporate hiring this month. There are a few corporate opportunities available in the market, however, there is no urgency for firms to fill these roles. Partners are waiting for the best candidates and are willing to forgo candidates who may be good but not ticking all the boxes. There are some active openings in U.S. capital markets, dispute resolution and finance sectors. Firms are hiring mainly due to the movement in the market and to replace any headcount loss that they have. Mid- to senior-level recruitment has been more active than the junior market.

For overseas lawyers who may be looking to return to Hong Kong, or develop their careers in Hong Kong, there are a couple of opportunities available, especially in the funds and finance sectors. A large number of firms are keen to recruit U.S. funds lawyers who have spent a few years in the U.S. working with an international law firm. Also, banking and finance lawyers from U.K. or U.S. are in demand, too.


SINGAPORE

Singapore continues to be a buoyant market for international lawyers looking to move to the region from overseas. Without the need for language skills, excellent weather and a favourable tax system, associates looking to move to Singapore have a number of options open to them. For local lawyers, too, opportunities for a lateral move are strong in the current market. We are seeing a number of firms hiring in international arbitration, particularly at some of the international firms with top-tier practices. Likewise, a number of our U.S. clients have expressed interest in project finance associates with strong energy and oil and gas experience. Corporate roles are still active at some international firms, too, particularly for associates at the mid-level who are looking to take on more responsibility in their practice and gain exposure to global work.


AUSTRALIA

Hiring needs in Australia have dipped slightly following the last couple of months, with many firms with little to offer in the way of opportunities. The opportunities that are currently available are targeted more toward mid- to senior-level associates and, as with previous months, are predominantly in the corporate and construction/projects/real estate spaces.

With the latest activity in the market, there is the possibility that we will see an increase in banking, finance and funds practice areas’ needs.


LONDON

Hiring at the associate level in London has slowed in the lead up to Brexit. However, there continues to be activity for hires of international candidates looking to move to London for high-quality work and good compensation. Core areas remain active, including arbitration and litigation, financial regulation, M&A and private equity. Across these areas there remains a drive for high-calibre candidates, both locally and internationally, with experience from top-tier practices and excellent academic backgrounds. There is a particular need for foreign-qualified candidates in restructuring, funds and general corporate from the top U.S. and Magic Circle firms, whilst in the arbitration and litigation space, we are seeing multiple U.S. clients expressing interest for associates looking to join smaller teams with a higher level of responsibility and compensation.


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RECENT PARTNER MOVES IN ASIA PACIFIC

Partners

Practice

To

From

Location

Charlotte Robins

Finance

Allen & Overy

Norton Rose Fulbright

Hong Kong

Christopher Yu

Capital markets

Howse Williams Bowers

Goodwin Procter

Hong Kong

Justin Sun

Aviation

Holman Fenwick Willan

Berwin Leighton Paisner

Hong Kong

Paul Sephton

Finance

Harneys

Walkers

Hong Kong

Vivian Yiu

Corporate

Morrison & Foerster

Allen & Overy

Hong Kong

Alastair Mordaunt

Antitrust

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hong Kong

Clifford Chance, London

Hong Kong, London

Liangyong Liu

IP

AnJie Law Firm

An, Tian, Zhang & Partners

Beijing

Shen Song

Energy

Sunshine Law Firm

-

Beijing

Wen Lizhao

Environment

Sunshine Law Firm

-

Beijing

Ying Wang

IP

AnJie Law Firm

Novozymes China
(Patent Attorney)

Beijing

Frank Liu

IP

Jincheng Tongda & Neal

Chang Tsi & Partners

Shanghai

Jinquan Zhang

Real  Estate

Zhong Lun Law Firm

SG & CO

Shanghai

Wayne Ma

Real Estate

DLA Piper

Paul Hastings

Shanghai

David Brotherton

Aviation

Holman Fenwick Willan

Berwin Leighton Paisner

Singapore

Gervais Green

Asset finance

Clifford Chance

Norton Rose Fulbright

Singapore

Jon Ornolfsson

Energy

Ashurst

Herbert Smith Freehills

Singapore

Kate Sherrard

Shipping

Clifford Chance

Norton Rose Fulbright

Singapore

Lam Shiao Ning

M&A

Oon & Bazul

Drew & Napier

Singapore

Matthew Cox

Finance

Simmons & Simmons

Dentons

Singapore

Lisa Yano

M&A

Hogan Lovells

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Tokyo

Philippe Riesen

IP

Foley & Lardner

Hogan Lovells

Tokyo

Wataru Shimizu

IP

Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, Nagoya

Ohno & Partners, Nagashima

Nagoya, Nagashima

Andrew Crook

Corporate

Hogan Lovells

Gilbert + Tobin

Sydney

Costas Condoleon

M&A and Equity Capital Markets

Gilbert + Tobin

Minter Ellison

Sydney

Jacques Jacobs

Insurance

Norton Rose Fulbright

DLA Piper

Sydney

Richard Hayes

Leveraged and Acquisition finance

Hogan Lovells

King & Wood Mallesons

Sydney

Ros O’Mally

Project and Asset Finance

Hogan Lovells

Gilbert + Tobin

Sydney

Scott Harris

Restructuring and Litigation

Hogan Lovells

DLA Piper

Sydney

Philip Edmands

Energy and Resources

Gilbert + Tobin

Rio Tinto Australia (General Counsel)

Perth

Craig Boyle

Employment

Minter Ellison

Allion Legal (Principal)

Perth

Kathy Reid

Employment

Minter Ellison

Allion Legal (Principal)

Perth

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.


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Andrew NgAndrew Ng is a Consultant in the Private Practice Group of Allegis-BN, China affiliate of Major, Lindsey & Africa. He is based in Beijing. Andrew focuses on placing private practice lawyers whether based in greater China or overseas into international law firms operating in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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