Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary and Partner Moves - March 2017

(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              Singapore                 China                 Australia                 

HONG KONG

The Hong Kong market has been steady. The busy areas include corporate M&A and general banking. Most firms are looking for associates at the mid- to senior-level and a few of the offshore firms are also actively recruiting for senior associates. Good work and life balance are more achievable in offshore firms and are still able to provide interesting work to incoming associates. Most of the opportunities we have seen in the market are replacement positions due to many associates moving in-house. We predict that the market will remain steady and continue to have openings, especially at the larger firms.

 

SINGAPORE

We have now launched our Singapore office with the arrival of Ash Raivadera at the helm of the office. Having met with a number of law firm clients over the past week, the consistent message from the market is that most of the roles will focus on replacement hiring rather than growth. Whilst there is a lot of commodity work still being done in Indonesia and corporate/capital markets work in India, firms are increasingly aware of using their own global network to attract talent to Singapore. With global issues such as Brexit still at the forefront of associates' minds in London, firms have seen an increasing number of requests for internal transfer to other offices.

To make a successful move to an international firm, associates must have strong, consistent deal experience. Those who have made multiple moves will find it tough to convince a firm of their long-term commitment to the practice. The good news is that Singapore is a fast-paced market and so things do change quickly and new roles can come through weekly.

 

CHINA

The market in China has not changed significantly over the last few months, and this month is no different. Due to our strong relationship with many of the large US and UK firms in multiple markets, there is some insight that changes on the management committees for some of the international law firms will potentially affect their long-term China/Asia strategies going forward.

 

AUSTRALIA

March has been a steady month for hiring in Australian firms. Corporate is fairly busy among many of the global firms, and with the prediction that 2017 will be a strong year for Asia-Pacific M&A, it safe to assume that corporate needs across many of the firms will continue to grow. Practices with a construction and infrastructure focus seem to be more active than is usual this month with opportunities arising in litigation, real estate and construction teams.

 

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RECENT PARTNER MOVES IN ASIA PACIFIC

Partners

Practice

To

From

Location

Donovan Ferguson

Construction

King & Wood Mallesons

Ashurst

Hong Kong

Janney Chong 

Corporate

Reynolds Porter Chamberlain 

Sidley Austin

Hong Kong

Julia Gorham

Employment

Seyfarth Shaw

DLA Piper

Hong Kong

Lawrence Yeung

Intellectual Property and Technology

ONC Lawyers

Boase Cohen & Collins

Hong Kong

Matthias Schemuth

Finance and Projects

DLA Piper

Ashurst

Hong Kong

Paul Teo

Dispute Resolution and Arbitration

Baker McKenzie

N/A

Hong Kong

K. Lesli Ligorner

Employment

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Simmons & Simmons

Shanghai

Edward Bennett

Corporate and M&A 

Morgan Lewis Stamford

Ashurst

Singapore

Sivakumar Vivekanandan Murugaiyan

Litigation

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing

Straits Law Practice

Singapore

Yu-Jin Tay

International Arbitration

Mayer Brown JSM

DLA Piper

Singapore

Seong Soo Kim

Litigation

Bae, Kim & Lee

Seoul Central District Court

Korea

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 Major, Lindsey & Africa.

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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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