Asia Pacific Legal Market Summary and Partner Moves - September 2018

APAC Market Summary(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        China        Singapore        South Korea        Australia       

HONG KONG

Recruitment in Hong Kong remains active this month with many roles not requiring Chinese language skills. IPO practices are still busy, and mid-level banking and dispute resolution lawyers are also in need.

An interesting trend we have seen, given the busyness of law firms, is that top US firms who used to only hire from Magic Circle or peer firms are hiring candidates from big local law firms. During interview processes, partners are focusing their questions on the technical skills and making sure all candidates they hire from local firms have strong listing rules experience.

 

CHINA

China continues to be busy in corporate with IPO still very active, although we are seeing an increased focus on M&A. We have also seen a slight pickup in IP and FCPA practices and expect as the year nears to an end, these to remain busy. However, the China-US trade situation is still impacting practices.

 

SINGAPORE

The Singapore market has picked up compared to last month with opportunities in projects and corporate practices. Most of the openings are for mid-level candidates. Some of these roles are opening up due to senior movements. We foresee the market will continue to be active for the next couple of months.

 

SOUTH KOREA

Seoul remains a quiet market at present, with peaks and troughs of deals coming through for firms. Some practices are very busy, whereas others are simply steady.

 

AUSTRALIA

As we head into the second half of the year, the Australian legal market continues to experience a surge in activity. The strong conditions spurred on by work flowing into firms from the banking royal commission, booming M&A activity, class action defence cases, regulatory change, major infrastructure projects and general economic growth continues to fuel the demand for transactional, disputes and regulatory lawyers across all levels and different size firms.

International and national law firms in Sydney have continued to show interest in lawyers of all levels (from 2–8 PQE) with excellent training and credentials across litigation, corporate/M&A (including private equity and capital markets), and banking and finance practices. Demand for real estate and construction lawyers also remains steady with most large firms having interest in lawyers with minimum 2–3 years PQE.

The Melbourne private practice legal market remains active with international and national law firms maintaining their demand for top talent across banking and finance, corporate/ M&A, and regulatory lawyers as well as mid-level real estate lawyers.

In the Perth legal market, we are seeing stronger demand for energy and resource as well as corporate/M&A lawyers. We have seen an uptick in demand for project finance as well as contentious and non-contentious energy sector matters.

 

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Recent Partner Moves in Asia Pacific

Partners

Practice

To

From

Location

Jimmy Chan

Regulatory and Enforcement

Clifford Chance

Securities and Futures Commission (Director)

Hong Kong

Peter Cheng

Capital Markets

Deacons

Davis Polk & Wardwell (Counsel)

Hong Kong

James Gaden

Corporate and Investment Funds

Walkers

Maples and Calder

Hong Kong

Cedric Lam

IP

Eversheds Sutherland

Dorsey & Whitney

Hong Kong

Elaine Lo

Corporate

L&C Legal

Mayer Brown JSM

Hong Kong

Helen Fok

Investment

Morgan Lewis

Simmons & Simmons

Hong Kong

Bingna Guo

Investigations and litigation

White & Case

O’Melveny & Myers

Beijing

Manuel Maisog

Cybersecurity

Baker Botts

Hunton & Williams

Beijing

Xiao Liu

Litigation

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Shanghai

Parikhit Sarma

Corporate

Virtus Law

Morgan Lewis Stamford

Singapore

Lawrence Low

Regulatory and Compliance

Allen & Gledhill

JPMorgan Chase & Co (Counsel)

Singapore

Gareth Williams

Veteran Maritime

Campbell Johnston Clark (Director)

HFW

Singapore

Harikumar Sukumar Pillay

Competition

OC Queen Street

Competition Commission of Singapore

Singapore

Poh Lip Hang

Competition

OC Queen Street

Competition Commission of Singapore

Singapore

Karun Cariappa

Corporate

Morgan Lewis

Simmons & Simmons

Singapore

Jacinta Studdert

Environment

Clyde & Co

Norton Rose Fulbright

Sydney

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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