Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary and Partner Moves - June 2016



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

Hong Kong                 Korea                 Singapore                 China                 Australia

HONG KONG

The market has started to pick up in Hong Kong. There are multiple new openings that have arisen in the market across capital markets, IP and corporate sectors this month. Opportunities are available from the junior to senior level, ranging from NQ level to 7 PQE.

A couple of firms are starting to invest in Hong Kong as noted by the recent recruitment of some senior partners to their firm. The movement at the partner level has had a trickledown effect and we are seeing more hiring at the associate level as a result. We expect the next few months to remain busy.


KOREA

The Korean market is steady, at present, whilst we await developments for the third stage of market liberalisation for the European firms (Korean and European firms will be able to form a joint venture from July 2016, whilst Korean and U.S. firms will be able to do so from March 2017). However, given the risk allocated to the foreign firms, a lot of people are waiting to see what happens and how the future law firm market will develop.

Having met with a number of law firm clients recently, there is still strong interest in corporate, capital markets and litigation associates with links to Korea. Likewise, some of the Korean practices based in Hong Kong and Tokyo are keen to hire associates and will enable lawyers looking for a more mixed workload to gain regional experience. To succeed in this market, associates should have fluent Korean language skills and experience in an internationally focused environment.


SINGAPORE

Singapore arbitration continues to lead the way. The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has named Singapore as the leading arbitration hub for Asia for the fifth year running. More than 6 percent of new ICC cases last year named Singapore as the seat of arbitration, according to the 2015 ICC Dispute Resolution Statistics. It is clearly a busy time for the Singapore arbitration sector, and we have noticed some keys partner moves: one example being Berwin Leighton Paisner Global Arbitration Head Kent Phillips who joined Hogan Lovells last month. This activity has naturally impacted associate hiring in the city state, and we have multiple opportunities for associates in this sector. Fantastic opportunities for associates overseas wishing to relocate to Asia also exist.

In other areas, banking and finance remain steady in Singapore. Norton Rose Fulbright added to their finance practice recruiting a derivatives partner in Singapore. Colin Rice, who was most recently a senior in-house lawyer at Credit Suisse's Singapore office, joined the firm this month.


CHINA

There has not been a great deal of change in the China market this month with law firms still showing caution in regards to their hiring activities. Again, associates with M&A and PE/VC experience from tier 1 domestic firms are in demand.


AUSTRALIA

The market in Australia appears to be picking back up leading into the new financial year. Whilst corporate, banking & finance and litigation seem to be the area’s most consistently hiring this year —especially at international firms—this month there is an evident focus at the national firms on associates for property, infrastructure and construction positions. Following on from last month, the IP/TMT sector is starting to increase in activity.

The needs across the board tend to be targeted more towards the senior end of the spectrum, aiming for those lawyers upwards of 4 years PQE. This is likely due to the completion of a successful graduate intake this year.


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RECENT PARTNER MOVES IN ASIA PACIFIC

Partners

Practice

To

From

Location

Anthony Wan

Corporate

King & Wood Mallesons

Llinks Law Offices

Hong Kong

Anthony Woo

Maritime

Clyde & Co

Hill Dickinson

Hong Kong

Antony Yung

Banking

Howse Williams Bowers

JP Morgan

Hong Kong

Chris Kelly

Corporate

White & Case

Linklaters

Hong Kong

Chuan Sun

Technology Transactions

Morrison & Foerster

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Hong Kong

Edwin Kwok

Capital Markets

O'Melveny & Meyers

Paul Hastings

Hong Kong

Erik Wallance

Private Wealth

Stephenson Harwood

Withers

Hong Kong

Frank Sun

Corporate

Latham & Watkins

Kirkland & Ellis 

Hong Kong

Jackson Chow

Asset Finance

Berwin Leighton Paisner

William KK Ho & Co

Hong Kong

Jason Kuo

Corporate

Troutman Sanders

Sidley Austin

Hong Kong

Joanne Verbiesen

Litigation

Harneys

Walkers

Hong Kong

Peter Bullock

Dispute Resolution

King & Wood Mallesons

Pinsent Masons

Hong Kong

Sammy Li

Capital Markets

Hogan Lovells

Paul Hastings

Hong Kong

Stephen Peepels

Capital Markets

Hogan Lovells

DLA Piper

Hong Kong

William Ho

Asset Finance

Berwin Leighton Paisner

William KK Ho & Co

Hong Kong

Feng Liu

IP

Dentons

Shenda Law Firm

Shanghai

Hongwei Hu

M&A

Dentons

HHP Attorneys-at-Law

Shanghai

Min Hu

TMT

Dentons

Shanghai Donghong Law Firm

Shanghai

Qiang Li 

M&A

DLA Piper

O'Melveny & Myers

Shanghai

Shanliang Wang

Finance

Dentons

Tiantai Law Firm

Shanghai

Stewart Wang

M&A

DLA Piper

O'Melveny & Myers

Shanghai

Yueying Dong

TMT

Dentons

Shenda Law Firm

Shanghai

Ashley Wright

Oil & Gas

Pinsent Masons

Norton Rose Fulbright

Singapore

Colin Rice

Finance

Norton Rose Fulbright

Credit Suisse

Singapore

Marc Rathbone

Projects

Nabarro

Gadens

Singapore

Seh Ping Kong

IP

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing

Virtus Law

Singapore

Steve Potter

Oil & Gas

Pinsent Masons

Jones Day

Singapore

Yemi Tépé

Financial Transactions

Morrison & Foerster

Clifford Chance

Singapore

Mahesh Kumar

Private Wealth

Withers KhattarWong, Singapore

Nishith Desai Associates, India

Singapore & India

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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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.

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