Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary and Partner Moves - September 2016



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

Singapore                 Korea                 Hong Kong                 China                 Australia                 London

SINGAPORE

Singapore is a steady market and there a few new opportunities for lawyers looking to relocate, particularly those qualified in England and Wales. There is a preference for associates to have had a strong, consistent career history as well as excellent academics. Transactional practices seem to be the most buoyant at present, whereas disputes is quieter.


KOREA

Having recently visited Seoul, it is very apparent that the appetite at the associate level is quite low. Mid-to-senior level associates looking to make a lateral move potentially have opportunities available to them, subject to having the necessary business that could potentially follow. The busiest practices are on the corporate and capital markets side, although there are a number of firms growing their disputes practices.


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.

Firms are seemingly busy; however, this has not translated to the recruitment market, which has remained steady this month. The majority of hiring needs in firms are for replacement positions. Having said that, a few firms are forgoing candidates even for these replacement roles. Again, the over-arching theme for many law firms is to ensure full utilisation of all lawyers. Some firms are seconding their lawyers to clients in order to increase the team’s profitability.


CHINA

Movements in the market has made headlines this month with Dentons’ Shanghai team moving to open up the second China office in Shanghai for US firm Morgan Lewis. Otherwise, the market has been slow this summer for associate hires. Overall, there seems to be a bit of a lull in associate hiring, which may be reflective of the current work flow at foreign firms in China and Hong Kong due to the end of summer and also the economic situation in China and globally.


AUSTRALIA

The legal market across Australia is fairly active with a number of opportunities for lawyers with excellent academics and good experience from a top law firm. Many of the roles are within transactional practices, with the disputes space falling slightly flat this month. The market in New York is opening up significantly to Australian citizens, and it is a good time for those exceptional candidates wishing to make a challenging career move to get in touch.


LONDON

The London market is not quite as buoyant as it usually is around this time of year with recruitment plans for UK firms being further delayed until end of October, likely due to Brexit. UK firms seem more affected by this than the US firms; however, Magic Circle firms are still willing to look at top talent. Where the corporate M&A space is normally a busy area, the opportunities are now more selective and targeted towards strong candidates at the senior end of the scale. Corporate PE, funds and financial services regulation practice areas are much more active in their recruitment needs for both Magic Circle and US firms.


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RECENT PARTNER MOVES IN ASIA PACIFIC

Partners

Practice

To

From

Location

Bertie Mehigan

Restructuring, Insolvency

Howse Williams Bowers

Ashurst

Hong Kong

Caroline Thomas

Insurance, Shipping and Competition

Hill Dickinson

Holman Fenwick Willan

Hong Kong

Charles Allen

Litigation

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Sidley Austin

Hong Kong

David Mallinson

Hotels and Hospitality

Withers

Mayer Brown JSM

Hong Kong

Shelly Sun

Capital markets

Jun He

Yirendai (General Counsel)

Beijing

Alex Wang

Corporate

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Dentons

Shanghai

Cindy Pan

Corporate

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Dentons

Shanghai

David Tang

Trade disputes

Jun He

Huang Shan & Co

Shanghai

Eddie Hsu

Corporate

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Dentons

Shanghai

Mitch Dudek

Corporate

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Dentons

Shanghai

Todd Liao

Corporate

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Dentons

Shanghai

Zhenfeng Yan

Aviation

Jun He

COMAC (Director for Legal Affairs)

Shanghai

Esther Seow

Trademark

Davies Collison Cave

Harry Elias Partnership

Singapore

Justin Mannolini

Mergers and Acquisitions, Equity Capital Markets

Gilbert + Tobin

Macquarie Capital (Executive Director)

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 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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