Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary and Partner Moves - October 2016



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

Singapore                 Korea                 Hong Kong                 China                 Australia                 

SINGAPORE

The legal market in Singapore is looking good with the busy areas including arbitration, corporate TMT and tax. A few firms are actively recruiting for associates in the market. Having said that, in order to hire the right people, partners have been a lot more careful during the interview processes. Asking technical questions, requesting writing samples or completing written tests have been added to the interview process for many firms.


KOREA

Seoul is still a quiet market on the international law firm side. We are seeing some interest in the projects and construction space, although it seems these practices are still developing. Major, Lindsey & Africa recently sponsored and attended the International Association of Korean Lawyers (IAKL) Conference in Washington, D.C. There is a strong commitment to the development of law firm practices in Seoul and a long-term vision for success. Associates looking to move to Korea should focus on building strong deal experience and ensuring they are getting good client exposure.


HONG KONG

The market in Hong Kong has started to pick up and is looking positive with a few new openings in corporate, banking and capital markets practices. Partners are being optimistic about their pipeline in the next year and foresee a potential need in associate-level hiring in the next few quarters.


CHINA

Despite the seeming uncertainty in the China legal market, foreign law firms in China are here to stay. They have to be in this market; it is essential. There are current mandates from foreign law firms looking to grow their China practice. The market is increasingly competitive for associates in China; demand for associates with top PRC and international law firm experiences will increase at the junior to mid-level. My advice is to stick with the best brand in the market when possible and look very closely at the law firm’s commitment and deal flow in China. Look at how much of the deal flow is from overseas referral and how much is from new and existing clients. Also consider how active the partners are in doing business development.


AUSTRALIA

The market in Sydney is steady with firms seemingly busy across the board at the moment. Opportunities are available within many different practice areas for junior, mid-, and senior-level lawyers. The international market, with particular respects to New York, is heating up for Australian citizens, with a number of firms happy to speak with associates from top-tier firms who are looking to relocate. 


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RECENT PARTNER MOVES IN ASIA PACIFIC

Partners

Practice

To

From

Location

Friven Yeoh

Arbitration

Sidley Austin

O'Melveny & Myers

Hong Kong

John Baptist Chan

Corporate & Securities

King & Wood Mallesons

AMTD Group
(General Counsel)

Hong Kong

Jonathan Hsui

Capital Markets

Allen & Overy

Ashurst 

Hong Kong

Kathryn Sanger

Arbitration

Herbert Smith Freehills

Clifford Chance
(Consultant)

Hong Kong

Lina Lee

Capital Markets

Allen & Overy

Ashurst 

Hong Kong

Adam Cheng

Corporate

JunHe Law Offices

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Shanghai

Justin J.X. Cai

Corporate

Duane Morris & Selvam

MWE China Law Offices

Shanghai

Felicia Tan

Litigation

Ince Law Alliance

Allen & Gledhill

Singapore

Keith McGuire

Corporate

PwC Legal

Ashurst

Singapore

Moses Lin

Litigation and Arbitration

Ince Law Alliance

Hill Dickinson

Singapore

Samuel Kolehmainen

Aviation Finance

Watson Farley & Williams

Clifford Chance
(Senior Associate)

Singapore

Haig Oghigian

International Arbitration

Squire Patton Boggs

K&L Gates

Tokyo

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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