Announcement of the termination of the partnership with HighPro Consulting (Shanghai) Limited

2 April 2023

Hughes-Castell (Hong Kong) Limited Company Announcement

Announcement of the termination of the partnership with HighPro Consulting (Shanghai) Limited

Hughes-Castell (Hong Kong) Limited, Asia’s premier legal and compliance search firm, announced today that as of 1 April 2023 the partnership with HighPro Consulting (Shanghai) Limited(高地(上海)人才咨询有限公司, also known in pinyin as Gao Di) has been terminated. 

From 1 April 2023, HighPro Consulting (Shanghai) Limited will not represent Hughes-Castell in the Mainland China market and Hughes-Castell will not be responsible nor liable for their business activities.

Through this separation, we aim to provide our optimized legal and compliance talent consulting services accumulated over the past 30 years directly to our clients in mainland China.

Our Chairman and Managing Director, Doreen Jaeger-Soong remains the principal contact for all China requirements, assisted by her team of experienced consultants.

Our contact details can be found at www.hughes-castell.com.


衡纪氏(香港)有限公司 公告


衡纪氏(香港)有限公司,亚洲首屈一指的法律合规人才咨询公司,今天(2023 年 4月1)宣布终止与高地(上海)人才咨询有限公司的合作伙伴关系。自2023年4月1日起,高 地 (上海)人才咨询有限公司将不再在中国大陆市场代表我们,相应地,我们将不再对其任何业务活动负责。


我们的主席兼董事总经理宋丽云 (Doreen Jaeger-Soong) 仍然是所有中国市场业务的主要联系人,其经验丰富的顾问团队将协助她为所有客户提供全方位人才咨询服务。




China loses its lustre for Western firms

Although Latham & Watkins’ announcement that the firm was shuttering their Shanghai office was maybe less earth-shattering that first appeared (the office has a single resident partner in Shanghai and the firm has stated it will consolidate operations in Beijing, relocating people as required) it is yet another episode in the unfolding narrative that western firms are retrenching in the PRC.

Ropes & Gray confirmed it is “shifting” resources from Shanghai to Hong Kong, albeit they insist the firm will maintain an office in the city. Dentons and Dacheng have undergone a well-publicised split (albeit for reasons seemingly more imposed upon them than purely strategic ones).

Now Proskauer Rose has announced it is withdrawing partners from Greater China and while it will maintain an office in Hong Kong with a senior consultant presence, it is a shift from the firm’s earlier enthusiasm for investment into the Chinese market.

And after Eversheds Sutherland’s recent unveiling of a referral partnership with KWM, it will be interesting to what degree it continues to invest in resources on the ground in mainland China especially. While it makes sense for the Anglo-US firm to maintain a presence on the ground on the mainland and work alongside its new partners, it would be surprising to see the firm target significant growth in its partner ranks there.

This follows earlier withdrawals and closures of Vinson & Elkins, McDermott Will & Emery, Orrick, Baker Botts, among others. New openings for western firms in Greater China are scarce. Meanwhile PRC firms continue to gain market share, and make inroads into Hong Kong.

This is a marked shift from 15-20 years ago when the most ambitious international firms were cementing their global ambitions with heavy investment in China and the most prestigious names in the market. Political tensions have undeniably played a part but the steady decline in numbers of partners and staff among international firms in the PRC has been notable going back years, even before COVID turned the world on its head. Once western firms were happy to ride out unprofitable situations in far-flung locations for strategic market share and projected long term profitability but recent news indicates that, for many, this journey, for now, is over.



5 tips for law graduates and young lawyers

Becoming a lawyer is tough; the pandemic has made the journey more difficult. Pat yourself on the back if you have completed the law degree or landed your first legal job during this unprecedented period, in the middle of lockdowns and worldwide recessions.

When starting a legal practice career, whether working in private practice or in-house, young lawyers should be aware of a few things. We gather tips to help you prepare to survive and thrive in this ever-changing world.


  • Technology proficiency is fundamental

The pandemic brought technology to the forefront of almost every part of our lives. Corporations, including law firms, had to operate remotely on a daily basis. Video conferencing/interviewing, networking, and cyber security skills are now essential.

In addition, the introduction of ChatGPT in November 2022 created global excitement for a viral text-generating system. Despite a marked decline in excitement about AI, it is the trend for the future. Lawyers, especially the young, who are adequately trained in technology, should continue to follow the development of new technologies.

  • Wellness

Before the pandemic, lawyers regarded a work-life balance concern as a luxury and worked from early morning to whenever the work got done. After the lockdowns, layoffs, or even the death of loved ones, you should remember to take a break and spend time with your family or friends to achieve physical and mental wellness. But, most importantly, don’t measure yourself against others! Everyone has their path and schedule; concentrate on the present and prepare for the future.

  • Don’t be jumpy

We come across many candidates who change jobs within a year if things don’t initially work out. Making those kinds of short-term moves will make their careers much trickier. To avoid this, we highly recommend law graduates do due diligence on every role, company, and personnel. Give at least 2 to 3 years’ time to prove their worth to the employer. It will benefit them because when they decide to make a move, there will be a good reference from the employer.

  • Build a network

The sooner you build a professional network, the sooner you will thrive in your legal career. Only a few lawyers can build a practice or succeed at a company based on their law school contacts. It is necessary to start now by attending legal seminars, client parties, and online professional networks to get potential clients and even opportunities. Having relationships with various people will help you create a well-rounded professional portfolio and then serve as a field of opportunities down the line.

  • Get a mentor

Legal work involves research and practice; of course, you can study precedents and relevant information now online on your own, but having a mentor will help you throughout your legal career. You can watch how a mentor practices and ask them any queries about the law; a mentor can be anyone, such as a more senior lawyer, the head of the legal team, or a partner/general counsel. So act now to build connections with those around you.


Featured photo by Saulo Mohana on Unsplash

Seoul the heart of activity in Asia

While most of Asia Pacific’s legal markets are recovering, sustaining, and growing, Seoul seems to have stolen the spotlight in 2023 in terms of activity. Ashurst’s Korea JV was announced in May; DeHeng, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, and Watson Farley & Williams also expanded operations to Seoul. In addition, K&L Gates appointed a new Managing Partner in Seoul.

Korea, China, and India saw significant growth in key recruitments in the first half of 2023. After a quiet 2022, China came back strong in 2023, having seeing 4 times more key recruitments compared to 2022, despite there being a 65% drop from2021 and 60% down from 2020. Also, India doubled in significant lateral hires in 2023.

Singapore saw signification growth (36% up) in 2023 compared to 2022 and replaced Hong Kong as the 2nd top key recruitment city/country.

The top partner recruiter in the first half of 2023 is Ashurst, making significant hires in Australia, Singapore, and Korea. Trilegal aggressively hired partners from rivals to demonstrate its ambitious growth plans in India. It is rare to see a Chinese international law firm get into the top partner recruiters, but Han Kun actively hiring in Q2 2023, securing 6 significant hires in the PRC, plus launching an office in Singapore. In addition, leading international firms K&L Gates and Baker McKenzie were actively hiring in Q1 and Q2.

Top Partner Recruiters in the Region




  • Despite the inflation data and muted Asian stock markets, regional legal markets showed a 23% increase in key appointments in 2023 compared to 2022.
  • We witnessed a stable yet active legal market in Q2 2023 and a growing trend in 2023.


  • Australia led the hiring market with 60 key recruitments in Q1 & Q2, followed by Singapore and Hong Kong.
  • Despite the lead, Australia saw a 22% drop in significant hires in the first half 2023.
  • Singapore, Hong Kong, India, China, Korea, and Thailand saw increased key appointments from 2023 to 2022. China had a strong comeback in 2023, especially in May.
  • It is rare to see Korea get into the top 6 but it showed strong March and April figures.


  • Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices dominated the key hires in the first half of 2023 and saw an 84% rise compared to 2022.
  • Disputes and Projects observed a drop compared to 2022.
  • Among the top 5 practices, only Corporate and Banking & Finance received growth, and IP, IT, and TMT remained the same until 2022.


Legal Move Updates (Jul – Sep 2023)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list.


24 Jul – Baker Botts (Singapore, Singapore)

U.S. law firm Baker Botts has tapped Ashurst again for an energy-focused partner in Singapore, two months after it launched its office in the country with partner hires from the UK-based law firm.

Andrew Roche, who joins Baker Botts’ global projects group in Singapore, advises clients on infrastructure financing in the energy and natural resources sectors in the Asia-Pacific market, with a particular focus on power, oil and gas, renewables and digital infrastructure, Baker Botts’ said in a statement. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

20 Jul – Clyde & Co (Bangkok, Thailand)

UK law firm Clyde & Co has recruited disputes attorney Dutsadee Dutsadeepanich as a partner in Bangkok. She was most recently a partner and co-founder of ABER Group.

This expansion follows the opening of Clyde’s Bangkok office earlier this year and the hires of partner Ian Johnston and legal director Sorawat Wongkaweepairot.

With over a decade of experience in cross-border litigation and international arbitration, Dutsadeepanich advises on commercial matters, construction disputes, energy conflicts, aviation, infrastructure and transportation matters. She sits on the panels of major arbitration institutions such as the Beihai Asia International Arbitration Centre, the Asian International Arbitration Centre and the Thailand Arbitration Centre. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

20 Jul – Norton Rose Fulbright (Perth, Australia)

Norton Rose Fulbright has hired dual-qualified litigation partner Paul Devlin from U.S. firm Perkins Coie to its white-collar crime team.

Devlin, an Australian, is qualified in Australia and New York, with a focus on white collar and investigations matters and civil litigation, including complex multi-state class actions. He will return from the U.S. to join NRF’s Perth office. (from http://www.law.com)

19 Jul – Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (Singapore, Singapore)

UK law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain has launched an M&A practice in Singapore with the addition of a Quahe Woo & Palmer transactions team, including practice leader Kenneth Leong to head the group.

The launch of an M&A practice in Singapore is a response to an increase in client demand for deal advisory in Southeast Asia, RPC’s Asia managing partner Antony Sassi said in a statement.

This addition is RPC’s first lateral partner hire in Singapore in 10 months. In September last year, the firm welcomed technology expert Nicholas Lauw as a partner from Rajah & Tann.

Leong advises private equity funds and their portfolio companies, sovereign wealth funds, and family offices on high-value cross-border corporate transactions focusing on renewable energy, data centres, logistics, manufacturing, petrochemicals, medical technology, healthcare, education, and food and drink markets. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

19 Jul – IndusLaw (Delhi, India)

Indian law firm IndusLaw has expanded its infrastructure and energy practice in Delhi with the addition of Shashwat Kumar as a partner from rival Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas.

Kumar is the latest lateral partner hire at IndusLaw, which also added disputes lawyer Suadat Ahmad Kirmani and banking expert Pritha Chatterjee from Tatva Legal and SAM, respectively, in May and a team of corporate lawyers from J Sagar Associates in Gurugram led by partner Shantanu Jindel in March.

Kumar has 17 years of experience in infrastructure, energy and electricity regulation, sectors which are among IndusLaw’s “key growth priorities,” the Bengaluru-founded firm’s founding partners Suneeth Katarki and Gaurav Dani said in a statement.

Kumar has advised multinational companies, including OMERS Infrastructure and Softbank-backed SB Energy, and state power regulators in traditional sectors, including power, oil and gas, and railways. He has also represented renewable energy company Azure Power, and an association of solar power developers among other alternative energy clients before Indian government authorities and regulators. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

19 Jul – RHTLaw (Singapore, Singapore)

RHTLaw Asia, a Singapore-based law firm, has recently appointed Vernon Voon as a partner to oversee the firm’s debt recovery portfolio in the country.

Voon has been a partner at RHTLaw Asia for seven years until June 2022, re-joins the firm after taking a one-year career break, as per his LinkedIn bio.

With over 30 years of experience in advising clients on debt recovery litigation and management, Voon is an expert in handling disputes related to the recovery of unsecured and secured debts, as well as payment issues related to debentures, bonds, and other financial facilities. He has represented clients in various courts, including the Singapore International Commercial Court, Singapore High Court, Strata Titles Board and State Courts.

Prior to his first stint at RHTLaw, Voon was a partner at Tan Kok Quan Partnership, and has also worked at Yeo-Leong & Peh and AbrahamLow. He has also worked as an inspector in the Singapore Police Force. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

17 Jul – Piper Alderman (Sydney, Australia)

The new superannuation team includes partners Lisa-Marie McKechnie and Kathy Neilson and senior associate Kerry Jacobs – all of which joined from Ernst & Young – as well as Piper Alderman lawyer Wendy Gao.

Ms Neilson is a highly experienced financial services lawyer with over 12 years of experience both in private legal practice and at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). She advises on a wide range of financial services issues across superannuation and life insurance, including in relation to regulatory requirements, disclosure, mergers and acquisitions such as successor fund transfers, licensing, corporate governance, prudential obligations, ASIC and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) applications and investigations, privacy and anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) obligations.

Ms McKechnie has over 25 years of deep technical financial services experience advising clients in the areas of superannuation, general and life insurance and regulatory matters. She is a former director on the board of the Financial Services Accountants Association (FSAA), a regular presenter with the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and the former NSW chair of the peak body for life insurance in Australia and New Zealand, Australasian Life Underwriting and Claims Association (ALUCA). (from http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au)

17 Jul – Gilbert + Tobin (Sydney, Australia)

Restructuring and insolvency partner Orla McCoy has resigned from Australian corporate firm Clayton Utz to join rival Gilbert + Tobin, just two months after another restructuring partner resigned from Clayton Utz to join White & Case.

Both McCoy and Timothy Sackar have resigned but remain working at Clayton Utz before starting at their new firms. (from http://www.law.com)


To be continued…


Should a Lawyer be a Coder?

“Everybody should learn to program a computer because it teaches you how to think,” said Steve Jobs in 1995[1]. At that moment, programming seemed a foreign language for many industries, including the legal profession. However, after almost three decades, coding  is now accorded as a compulsory subject every school child must learn[2]. Should this also accompany legal studies? When we discuss whether lawyers should learn to code, we have to ask if coding is important in law or will benefit lawyers personally.


Is coding important in law?

In an increasingly data and tech-driven legal industry, lawyers could consider becoming coding literate in order to be able to use legal technology to a fuller extent.[3] A better understanding of data security risks, leads to better data security practices which can only benefit clients. For example, a tech-savvy lawyer could create their own AI prompt to receive appropriate responses from using ChatGPT.

Programming expertise certainly gives lawyers a competitive advantage when it comes to advising digital and fintech businesses. Understanding how the code functions and how the development process is structured enables a better understanding of how processes are run within software businesses and how their solutions work.[4]

Everyone is worried about AI replacing some lawyer functions soon. In 2017 JP Morgan began using software called “COIN” (Contract Intelligence) to review commercial loan agreements in order to save on legal spending. By being able to grasp what the impact of AI actually is, you can reap the benefits rather than fall behind the curve.

The legal tech sector is booming. The Covid-19 pandemic was a key factor in accelerating legal tech development as lawyers had to adapt to the changing communication and interaction environment, and clients’ evolving needs and expectations. There became a greater need for legal tech solutions as professionals moved to virtual meetings, e-voting management, and online document collaboration.


Why lawyers can be good programmers?

Many lawyers may not be aware that they are more suited to programming than they realize. In reality the core skills of being a good lawyer are actually quite similar to those of a programmer. Lawyers and coders are problem-solvers, processing information and using data to make predictions and informed decisions. Basically, lawyers use variances of math, science, and logical thinking skills in their practice – they just might not realize that they are using the same skills as coders. [5]


A Lawyer’s Guide to Learning to Code

What’s the first step? If you want computer programming skills tailored to the legal field, seek legal-specific courses. Lawyers may find the following programming or computer science skills particularly useful:

    • Python: to help with data analysis with huge legal datasets including legislation, caselaw, regulations, and contracts.
    • Conversational AI: such as ChatGPT and Bard to create instructions to AI.
    • SQL: to help with database management.
    • Cyber Security: to help with data and network protection as well as GDPR.
    • Cloud computing: such as Power Platform and AWS to learn how it can be applied to your practice or to automate your work processes.



[1] Stephen Gruppetta, ‘Steve Jobs 1995: “Everybody should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think,”’ Codetoday.co.uk, Codetoday, 5 July 2022, https://www.codetoday.co.uk/post/2018/07/25/steve-jobs-1995-everybody-should-learn-to-program-a-computer-because-it-teaches-you-how (accessed 15 June 2023)

[2] Boboskey, ‘7 Countries that Have Adopted Coding as Subject in Primary, Secondary Education Curricula,’ Boboskey.com, Boboskey Technologies, 5 October 2022, https://www.boboskey.com/2022/10/7-countries-that-have-adopted-coding-as.html (accessed 15 June 2023)

[3] Sharon Miki, ‘Programming for Lawyers: Why Lawyers Make Good Programmers’, Clio.com, Clio, 18 April 2023, https://www.clio.com/blog/programming-for-lawyers/ (accessed 15 June 2023)

[4] Contractbook, ‘Do lawyers need to learn to code?’ Contractbook.com, Contractbook, 24 February 2020, https://contractbook.com/legaltechinstitute/do-lawyers-need-to-learn-to-code (accessed 15 June 2023)

[5] Sharon Miki, ‘Programming for Lawyers: Why Lawyers Make Good Programmers’, Clio.com, Clio, 18 April 2023, https://www.clio.com/blog/programming-for-lawyers/ (accessed 15 June 2023)


Featured image by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Legal Move Updates (Apr – Jun 2023)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list.


22 Jun – Hogan Lovells (Singapore, Singapore)

Hogan Lovells has named corporate partner and India practice co-head Biswajit Chatterjee as managing partner of its Singapore office.

From July 1 Chatterjee will succeed corporate and finance partner Alex Wong, who has been head of the firm’s Singapore office since 2020. Wong is due to leave the partnership to become a judicial commissioner of the Singapore Supreme Court beginning August 1. (from http://www.law.com)

21 Jun – Ashurst (Melbourne, Australia)

Partner Neil Pathak will leave Australia’s Gilbert + Tobin and join Ashurst as head of its Australian mergers and acquisition practice. He will be joined by Susannah Macknay, who is also coming across from G+T.

The highly-regarded Pathak has worked on some of the largest public M&A and private equity transactions in Australia for over 25 years. His practice covers the full range of M&A/corporate transactions, with a particular focus on listed company takeovers, cross-border acquisitions, private equity deals and corporate governance advice. (from http://www.law.com)

19 Jun – Bird & Bird (Sydney, Australia)

Bird & Bird has become the largest dedicated sports practice in Australia with the hire of partner Brianna Quinn for its Sydney office, its second Australia hire in a week.

Quinn spent more than a decade at Swiss arbitration firm Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler before returning to Australia and joining Bird & Bird on June 1. (from http://www.law.com)

19 Jun – Han Kun Law Offices (Singapore, Singapore)

Beijing-based Han Kun Law Offices has hired Duane Morris & Selvam’s Singapore-based director Lan Yu as a partner for its newly-opened Singapore office.

The lateral hire comes four days after Han Kun announced the official opening of its office in Singapore, marking the Chinese firm’s first international foray beyond Greater China. Its Singapore outfit, which is headed by corporate partner Dafei Chen, is the firm’s third new office in just 18 months. (from http://www.law.com)

19 Jun – Charles Russell Speechlys (Hong Kong, China)

Charles Russell Speechlys has added a partner to its Hong Kong office.

Vanessa Duff, who has spent the last 15 years at Withers and was most recently a senior associate, joins the firm to focus on family law including issues arising from divorce, financial arrangements and separation, custody, child maintenance, and pre- and post-nuptial agreements.  (from http://www.law.com)

16 Jun – AZB & Partners (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm AZB & Partners has welcomed back aviation lawyer Sarah Jayne Rufus as a partner in Mumbai from airline IndiGo, where she was associate general counsel.

With about two decades of experience, Rufus advises on M&A, securities Law, and banking and finance within the aviation sector. Her first stint with AZB was from 2006 to 2010, before she moved to S&R Associates, and then to IndiGo in 2015. Rufus earlier worked for New Delhi Law Offices.  (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

15 Jun – King & Wood Mallesons (Melbourne, Australia)

King & Wood Mallesons has hired a construction partner from Australian law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Melbourne-based Jane Hider has more than 20 years’ experience, and specialises in major projects and procurement, real estate development and transport and energy infrastructure.  (from http://www.law.com)

14 Jun – Simmons & Simmons (Singapore, Singapore)

Trade finance specialist Angelia Chia has left Mayer Brown to join fellow UK law firm Simmons & Simmons as a partner in Singapore.

Chia joined Mayer Brown in 2017 from Standard Chartered Bank, where she was the global head of legal for trade. At that firm, she co-led its trade finance practice launch in Singapore.

With more than 25 years of experience, Chia advises on trade and supply chain financing, including risks and disputes arising from trade in multiple jurisdictions. Prior to joining Standard Chartered Bank, she worked as an in-house counsel with Cargill and JP Morgan. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

14 Jun – Mayer Brown (Tokyo, Japan)

Mayer Brown has bolstered its corporate and securities practice in Japan with the hire of Greenberg Traurig M&A partner Eiji Kobayashi.

Kobayashi, who joins Mayer Brown’s corporate and securities practice in Tokyo, has more than 20 years of experience specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, as well as regulatory and investigation matters in the technology, automobile, real estate and life sciences sectors.  (from http://www.law.com)

14 Jun – Bird & Bird (Sydney, Australia)

Bird & Bird has appointed banking and finance lawyer Tim Macmillan as a new partner for its financial and financial regulation practices in Sydney.

Macmillan, who joins from Australian firm Mills Oakley, specializes in corporate finance, project finance and real estate finance, with a strong borrower and sponsor-side focus. (from http://www.law.com)

13 Jun – DLA Piper & Dentons (Melbourne, Australia)

DLA Piper and Dentons have separately hired one partner each from Australian firm Holding Redlich.

DLA Piper has hired projects partner Tony Rutherford to join its Melbourne office and bolster its construction capabilities. (from http://www.law.com

12 Jun – K&L Gates (Tokyo, Japan)

K&L Gates added finance lawyer Dominic Gregory as a partner in Tokyo. Gregory, who joins from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner where he was a partner, will be part of K&L Gates’ global finance practice from Japan.

Qualified in Hong Kong and the U.K., Gregory has been a lawyer for almost three decades, dating back to his time as a lawyer at Clifford Chance in 1994. He specializes in project financings and project development work, as well as restructuring, and asset, real estate and acquisition-related finance. His practice covers all forms of renewable energy and conventional projects, including mining, oil and gas, nuclear and petrochemicals transactions. (from http://www.law.com)

12 Jun – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Hong Kong, China)

U.S. law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld said it has added partner Tarun Warriar to its special situations and private credit team in Hong Kong, less than a month after losing its restructuring head in the city to rival DLA Piper.

Warriar was most recently a managing director at global investment firm Varde Partners. Before that, he was a restructuring partner at Kirkland & Ellis, Akin Gump said in a statement. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

9 Jun – Sabara Law (Singapore, Singapore)

Sabara Law, a member firm of Deloitte Legal in Singapore, has added intellectual property to its practice by hiring intellectual property lawyer Gretchen Su as a director from Withers KhattarWong, where she was most recently a partner.

Su is now the fifth lawyer of Sabara Law, which advises areas including data protection, mergers and acquisitions and financial services regulatory. (from http://www.law.com)

8 Jun- Linklaters (Hong Kong, China)

Linklaters has strengthened its Hong Kong practice with the hire of corporate lawyer Roger Cheng, a senior corporate finance division director and the head of the takeovers team at the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong.

Joining Linklaters as a partner, Cheng will officially start his new role in August this year. (from http://www.law.com)

7 Jun – Herbert Smith Freehills (Tokyo, Japan)

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Tokyo-based partner Graeme Preston, who is currently the firm’s head of corporate in Asia, has been named as its new Asia managing partner, succeeding disputes lawyer May Tai, who was appointed in 2020.

Tai will continue to practice at the firm as a consultant focusing on her personal arbitral practice and other projects from September this year, when Preston is scheduled to assume his new role, the firm said in a statement. (from http://www.law.com)

7 Jun – Withers (Hong Kong, China)

Leading international law firm Withersworldwide has announced the appointment of Jocelyn Tsao, partner and head of the Hong Kong divorce and family team, as Managing Director of its Hong Kong office, making her the youngest Managing Director of Withers’ 17 global offices.
Stepping into the role of Managing Director, Jocelyn brings her exceptional experience and knowledge in legal practice and management. She is known for her strategic and forward-thinking vision, strong client relationships and being commercially astute and personable.

Jocelyn has been with Withers for over a decade and has led the Hong Kong divorce and family team since 2022. She heads both the firm’s Environment and Pro bono committees in APAC and is actively involved in the firm’s Well-being committee. (from http://www.mondaq.com)

6 Jun- Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Delhi, India)

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has hired technology specialist Gauhar Mirza as a partner in Delhi from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

With over 13 years of experience, Mirza advises corporate clients in technology, construction, automobile and other manufacturing sectors. He also advises on financing on arbitration and litigation involving IT and Criminal Law matters. Mirza has represented clients before different tribunals – including arbitral tribunals – and at different levels of courts, including the Supreme Court of India. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

6 Jun – Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Singapore, Singapore)

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has hired M&A lawyer George Cyriac as a partner in Singapore from Stephenson Harwood, where he led the Asia private equity and Indonesia practices.

Cyriac advises multinational and Asian companies, private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, state-owned enterprises, and investment and commercial banks on cross-border transactions including investments, disposals, and restructurings across Southeast Asia and South Asia. He joined Stephenson Harwood in Singapore in 2015 from White & Case, and earlier worked for U.S. firm Fried Frank in New York. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

6 Jun – J Sagar Associates (Gurugram, India)

India’s J Sagar Associates (JSA) has hired a four-member M&A and PE team in Mumbai, led by equity partner Siddharth Mody, from Desai & Diwanji.

The other members are retained partner Rahul Deodhar, principal associate Prerana Chaudhari, and associate Abhishek Singh.

With over 20 years of experience, Mody advises investors and promoters on cross-border transactions such as M&A, PE, venture capital, foreign investment, joint ventures, amalgamations and asset purchases across sectors including agriculture, healthcare and pharma, hospitality, education, real estate and power. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

5 Jun – Clifford Chance (Sydney, Australia)

Clifford Chance has hired partner Elizabeth Richmond from Australian firm Clayton Utz for its antitrust team in Sydney.

Richmond has over 15 years of experience in antitrust and competition law. She advises clients on a range of competition-related issues, including merger control, competition litigation, cartel investigations, dawn raids and competition regulation. (from http://www.law.com)

5 Jun – Tilleke & Gibbins (Bangkok, Thailand)

Nuttaphol Arammuang, the former IP practice head at R&T Asia (Thailand), Rajah & Tann’s Thai network firm, has rejoined Tilleke & Gibbins as a partner.

About one year ago, Nuttaphol left ZICO IP to lead the launch of the intellectual property practice at R&T Asia (Thailand).

With more than two decades of experience, Nuttaphol advises on IP strategy and represents clients in IP litigations. His notable cases include pharmaceutical patent disputes, patent infringement, design infringement, trademark and trade dress infringement, passing off, trademark invalidation, copyright litigation in the context of new media and technology, and obtaining preliminary injunctions and Anton Piller orders.

Having started his career at Tilleke in 2002, Nuttaphol moved to ZICO IP in 2015, and became its Thailand managing partner in 2019. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

4 Jun – Ashurst (Sydney & Melbourne, Australia)

Ashurst has hired two partners in Australia to boost its digital economy and its risk advisory practices.

Anthony Lloyd joins from DLA Piper to become a partner in its digital economy practice in Sydney, while financial crime expert Steven Blackburn joins from casino operator Crown resorts to become a risk advisory partner in Melbourne. (from http://www.law.com)

2 Jun – Mayer Brown (Hong Kong, China)

In Hong Kong, Mayer Brown has appointed Hong Kong partner Hannah Ha as chair of the firm’s Asia board, succeeding Hong Kong-based partner and head of its Asian employment and benefits group Duncan Abate, who has held the role since 2016.

Ha, who has been a partner at Mayer Brown in Hong Kong since January 2006, is a co-leader of the firm’s global corporate and securities practice. Admitted in multiple jurisdictions including New York, Hong Kong and the U.K., Ha’s practice focuses on cross-border mergers and acquisitions including foreign direct investment in China. She also specializes in competition law, and co-heads the firm’s antitrust and competition team in Asia. (from http://www.law.com)

2 Jun – Dentons Link Legal (Delhi, India)

Shravan Yammanur has joined Dentons Link Legal as a Partner in Dispute Resolution practice at the firm’s Delhi office.

Prior to joining Dentons Link Legal, Yammanur worked with P&A Law Offices, and in the Government of India at the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and the Ministry of Finance. He has also worked at the Chambers of Rajiv Dutta, Senior Advocate and Arbitrator. (from http://www.barandbench.com)

2 Jun – Mishcon de Reya (Hong Kong, China)

Timothy Burns and Wei Zhang have joined Mishcon de Reya as partners with the private client team in Hong Kong, the firm said Friday.

Burns and Zhang focus on tax and wealth planning for high-net-worth clients in Asia, according to Mishcon de Reya.

They also advise on expatriation, pre-immigration to the US, investment in US real estate, and US federal tax and reporting compliance, Mishcon de Reya said. (from news.bloombergtax.com)


to be continued…


Acing a Legal Interview – A practical guide for interns, trainees, and junior lawyers

To successfully secure a job offer at a law firm or in-house legal team, you must know how to prepare for the interview. The interview is an opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the role by showing the interviewer your ability to analyze complex legal information, communicate with colleagues and clients, manage digital issues, and work under tight deadlines in fast-paced environments.

Preparation is key for every successful interview. Here are five tips to help you prepare:


  1. Research the organization and the role

Research the law firm you are interviewing with. You can browse the firm’s web site, research the law firm’s directory rankings, review articles about the firm in legal industry and news publications. Biography pages for relevant partners are easily found online. Showing that you took the initiative to learn about the firm will impress any interviewer.

For in-house legal interviews, research and familiarize yourself with the company, the industry, and the function that you are interviewing for. You should take time to research the company on the internet by reviewing the company website, Wikipedia, recent press releases, and related news. Don’t forget to search for any legal issues the company, the industry, or its competitors are facing. This prepares you for the common questions that companies inevitably ask candidates during the interview.

Make an effort to understand what the hiring manager and firm/company’s expectations are for the role. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify what specific knowledge, skills and abilities the role requires, and where possible provide examples of how your own knowledge, skills and experience meet the requirements.


  1. Prepare for potential questions

Before your interview, consider potential questions and prepare your answers. It is true every interview will be different in certain ways, but if you can thoughtfully answer the 10 questions listed below, you will likely have a better chance to articulate your story:

Private Practice

  • What do you enjoy about law?
  • Why do you want to be a solicitor?
  • Which area of law are you most interested in?
  • What type of firm are would you like to work in? Or why are you considering leaving your current firm?
  • What do you know about our firm? Our work, clients, sector focus?
  • Tell me about a major accomplishment.
  • Describe a professional failure/challenge and how you handled it.
  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • Why should we hire you over other candidates?
  • What questions do you have?


  • Why you want to work in-house?
  • Tell me about your current position and how your responsibilities have evolved since joining the company/firm.
  • Where do you bring the business the greatest value?
  • Tell me about a time when a business partner was adamant about not taking your legal advice. What was the situation, and how did you resolve it?
  • Give me an example of when you helped or mentored someone.
  • What has been the most difficult challenge you have faced, and how did you solve it?
  • What is the last thing you accomplished that required you to leave your comfort zone?
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • Why are you interested in this role with our company?
  • Do you have any industry relevant experience?

It is worth preparing answers, however being flexible in the delivery of your answers in the interview is also important. Be mindful that some questions are designed to get you thinking. If you simply answer this type of question by memorizing pre-phrased answers and reciting them word-for-word, you may present as unnatural and unable to think on the spot. Consider general points and themes but answer the questions you have been asked.


  1. Know your CV

Your CV is the key document your interviewers will refer to in your interview. Before the interview, ensure you are familiar with everything on your CV and are able to tie it in with detailed experiences and anecdotes while answering questions. Be ready to answer questions on your knowledge, skills, experience, and goals as these are the areas that the interviewer will certainly want to address. By going over your CV just before the interview, you should anticipate some elements the interviewer might quiz you on, for example, “what on your CV are you most proud of?”


  1. Identify Competencies

Legal interviews usually focus on your technical legal skills, therefore you should be prepared to articulate your competencies with solid examples. Finding out a list of essential responsibilities and requirements of the role will give you a good idea of the competencies the law firm is likely to be looking for.

More law firms and companies now use behavioural-based questions to gauge how you will perform in particular situations. The ‘STAR’ method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) is a good framework to employ in answering behavioural-based questions. Think of examples of your skills or experience where you can respond using the STAR method:

  • Situation: Describe a situation that you were in or a task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to have the full picture.
  • Task: what was expected of you in the situation?
  • Activity: Describe the actions you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail and keep the focus on YOU. What specific steps did you take and what was your particular contribution?
  • Result: what effect did your course of action have? Did it have the desired effect and how does it demonstrate a particular skill set well?

Please note there are no right or wrong answers. The key to success in the STAR method is offering a carefully considered selection of experiences. Only use examples that answer the question and don’t try to shoehorn in something that doesn’t fit. The interviewer is simply trying to understand how you behaved in a given situation. How you respond will determine if there is a fit between your competencies and the position the company is seeking to fill.

Different practices/functions and levels of seniority have requirements that vary in scope and responsibility, but certain non-legal skills are required for most of them. These required legal skills include oral and written communication, presentation, client relationship development, analytical reasoning, legal research, use of technology, knowledge of substantive law and legal procedure, time management, organization, and teamwork skills. Take time to reflect and self-evaluate your legal skills and be prepared to demonstrate your legal expertise to the interviewer.


  1. During the interview

Stay focused during the interview. Being focused demonstrates you are engaged in the interview. Staying focused can help you appear calm, even when you are nervous. An appropriate amount of eye contact is important to show your focus and engagement. When answering interview questions, reply clearly, positively, and with an appropriate level of enthusiasm. Try not to take too long to answer a question. If an interviewer has been sitting there for the whole day conducting interviews, a positive and energetic candidate will light up their day.

Try not to ramble! Being able to communicate clearly and concisely while under pressure is an essential skill of a good lawyer. Be specific, succinct when answering questions and provide adequate information on all of your answers. In case you are unsure on any particular question, try to answer as best you can and be ready for the next question. There is a golden rule however – never answer a question with a one-word answer.

At the end of the interview, it is important to ask questions about the firm/company or follow up on questions about matters raised in the interview. Asking intelligent questions at this point demonstrates you listened thoroughly in the interview and that you are genuinely interested in the firm/company. It’s also a good way to determine if you’d be happy working for this employer and whether your goals are aligned.

Securing a good position at a leading law firm or a Fortune 500 corporation is not a walk in the park even if you have stellar credentials, but remember you can make the strongest impression when you are face-to-face with the interviewers/partners/General Counsel. With that in mind, try to be yourself, show your personality and competencies, and make the interview a conversation rather than a straight question and answer session.


Singapore leads the growth with China on the track to coming back

Singapore has overtaken Hong Kong as the leading financial center in Asia and ranks third in the Global Financial Centre Index 2022, trailing only New York and London globally. Economic prosperity and a high-end quality if life continue to attract foreign law firms to launch or expand their Asia offerings. On the other hand, China’s legal markets are picking up after the end of travel restrictions, as there were strong lateral hiring figures in Jan and Mar.

Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices comprised the top senior recruitment hires in Q1. Banking & Finance overtook Projects/Construction/Infrastructure practices to climb to 2nd. We also saw a gradual rise in Restructuring/Insolvency practice hires.

Law firms evenly shared the partner hires in the region, with DLA Piper making marginally the most partner hires (5) in Q1 across Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand.

Top Partner Recruiters in the Region


  • There is an 8% decrease in lateral hires in Q1 compared to 2022.
  • In Jan, China had still adopted strict Covid-19 restrictions plus the Chinese New Year holidays took place, so the lateral hire market was relatively quiet compared to Feb and Mar.
  • The regional lateral hire market was relatively stable in Feb and Mar.




  • There is an 8% decrease in lateral hires in Q1 compared to 2022.
  • In Jan, China had still adopted strict Covid-19 restrictions plus the Chinese New Year holidays took place, so the lateral hire market was relatively quiet compared to Feb and Mar.
  • The regional lateral hire market was relatively stable in Feb and Mar





  • Australia and Hong Kong saw a decrease in key appointments compared to this period in 2022.
  • We saw a 20% increase in Singapore’s partner recruitment market compared to 2022 and in the share of the regional lateral hire markets from 16% (2022) to 21% (2023).
  • Hong Kong saw a drop for the 2nd consecutive year (2023 and 2022), possibly due to the pandemic and the travel ban.
  • Despite an increase, lateral hires in China remain low.
  • Seoul had a dynamic Q1: foreign law firms, Dentons and Watson Farley & Williams opened offices in Seoul, and Korean firm Yoon & Yang hired 3 foreign registered lawyers.




  • Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices constituted 33% of the key hires in Q1 of 2023.
  • Corporate, and Banking & Finance practices increased in Q1 of 2023. On the contrary, Project, Energy and Compliance practices received a significant drop in key hires.
  • The restructuring/Insolvency/Debt practice area has seen stable growth since 2020.




India market finally opens but caution is the watchword

News of the liberalisation of the Indian legal market took almost every observer by surprise. Although rumours had circulated for years that it was on the agenda, that discussions were underway, watch this space, etc, when the announcement finally did come it was somewhat out of the blue. And despite some belated, general, non-specific noises of optimism from the press offices of international firms (and the Law Society of England & Wales), the response has been muted.

It could be that everyone was caught on the hop and is still calibrating thoughts and strategies but perhaps also the lustre of one of the biggest Asian markets is not as bright as previously thought and there are various reasons for this.

It is stating the obvious but India is a huge country with a large diversified legal market. By contrast, when South Korea opened its doors in 2013 the capital Seoul was the only viable destination for international firms. While Mumbai and Delhi seem the obvious first ports of call, India has many other large industrial and financial centres. The Indian legal market is complex and idiosyncratic, and difficult to navigate for outsiders.

Most major international firms active in India will have existing relationships with local firms and lawyers that they know and trust. The current proposal is that international firms will only be permitted to advise on non-Indian law. Unsurprisingly, much has been made of the potential for increased international arbitration work from India, especially with its relative proximity to the regions major international arbitration centres in Singapore and Hong Kong. Bearing all of this in mind, is a large permanent presence on the ground required?

Another unavoidable truth is, the market simply isn’t lucrative compared with the other leading economies in the region. Adjusting price points to accommodate offices in new locations or second-tier markets is something firms are increasingly reluctant to do.

The most likely initial scenario is that entrepreneurial, mid-market firms with existing India practice groups will set up satellite offices, most likely relocating someone internally or hiring a familiar face embedded in the market, and strengthening bonds with local firms while widening their client bases. Minimal outlay, minimal risk. Others will be content to adopt an “after you, sir,” approach and watch how things develop. However, as history tells us, if some of the big players do decide that India is a market they simply cannot ignore despite all of the mitigating factors, expect to see a trickle become a flood.

Women in Law – Asia Pacific

In Asia Pacific, women have made significant progress in the legal sector in recent years. Currently, women lead the Asian operations of at least six global firms. They include Ashurst’s Head of Asia Jini Lee; Clifford Chance’s Asia Pacific regional Managing Partner Connie Heng;  Herbert Smith Freehill’s Asia Managing Partner May Tai; Linklaters’ Asia Managing Partner Nathalie Hobbs; Sidley Austin’s Asia Pacific Managing Partner Constance Choy; and Shearman & Sterling’s Asia Regional Managing Partner Lorna Chen. [1] In addition, Nguyen Thi Lang was appointed the first female chair of an international law firm in Vietnam in 2021. But the status of women in law varies from country to country.

In Australia, since 2019 the legal sector was promoting the 40-40-20 model, with 40% of any new admissions and/or promotions in any year being male, 40% female, and the remaining 20% varying depending on the candidate pool. By December 2022, five of “Big Six Firms”[2] had failed to achieve the target of women leadership in law firms, Allens followed with 36.4%, Clayton Utz 30.1%, HSF 34.5%, KWM 33.9%, and MinterEllison 32.7%.[3]

In Singapore, of all practicing lawyers in 2020 43% are women and only 14% are in the senior category (15+ PQE). [4] The Law Society states that women represented 65% of legal trainees in Hong Kong yet only 30% of partners. In India the average percentage of women at the partnership at 30 top Indian law firms stands at 30%. At top-tier Indian law firms Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and AZB & Partners in 2019, respectively 42% and 40% of new partners were women.[5]

On the other hand, in countries such as Japan and Korea, women face challenges even getting into the industry. For example in Japan, women make up only about 18.8% of lawyers[6]. Similarly, according to Ministry of Justice gender index statistics, women lawyers accounted for 27.8% of the headcount in all legal professions.[7]

Overall, numbers of women in the legal profession in many Asia countries continue to grow, and the status of women in law in some countries is better than their peers in the US, UK, or Europe. Efforts are also underway to increase gender diversity in the legal profession. 

#EmbraceEquity #IWD2023 #InternationalWomenDay #WomenInLaw

[1] Anna Zhang “Women Hold Up Half the Sky: Why So Many Women Run the World’s Largest Law Firms in Asia.” law.com, 12 April 2021, https://www.law.com/international-edition/2021/04/12/women-hold-up-half-the-sky-why-so-many-women-run-the-worlds-largest-law-firms-in-asia/ (accessed 7 Mar 2023)

[2] The following firms were generally regarded as the Big Six firms in Australia: Allens, Ashurst, Clayton Utz, Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons, and MinterEllison.

[3] Hannah Wootton and Michael Pelly, “Law firms go backwards on female partners”, Financial Review, Dec 8 2022, https://www.afr.com/companies/professional-services/law-firms-go-backwards-on-female-partners-20221130-p5c2f3 (Accessed 7 Mar 2023)

[4] The Law Society of Singapore, “Leveling the Playing Field,” August 2020, https://law-society-singapore-prod.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/2020/08/WIP-Report-Levelling-the-Playing-Field.pdf (Accessed 7 Mar 2023)

[5] “Women in Indian law firms: In a growing minority,” legallyindia.com, 1 June 2019, https://www.legallyindia.com/india-unleashed-editorial/women-in-indian-law-firms-in-a-growing-minority-20190601-11000 (accessed 7 Mar 2023)

[6] Jesscia Seah, “Even in Japan, Law Firms Boost Diversity Initiatives to Attract Women Lawyers”, law.com, 12 November 2020, https://www.law.com/international-edition/2020/11/12/even-in-japan-law-firms-boost-diversity-initiatives-to-attract-women-lawyers/ (Accessed 7 Mar 2023)

[7] Lim Mi Ran and Nguyen Yen, “Korea’s top 100 lawyers 2022,” Asia Business Law Journal, 17 November 2022, https://law.asia/top-lawyers-korea/ (accessed 7 Mar 2023)

The Legal Sector’s Reply to ChatGPT

With the boom in ChatGPT, a generative AI, the legal sector is trying to figure out how the advance AI applies to the market. Here are some law firms’ reactions to ChatGPT.

Clayton UTZ (21 Feb 2023) – The age of the self-driving bureaucracy? ChatGPT and the Public Sector (https://www.claytonutz.com/knowledge/2023/february/the-age-of-the-self-driving-bureaucracy-chatgpt-and-the-public-sector)

Allen & Overy (15 Feb 2023) – Magic circle firm rolls out “gamechanger” ChatGPT-type platform ( https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/magic-circle-firm-rolls-out-gamechanger-chatgpt-type-platform/5115150.article)

Allens (15 Feb 2023) – ChatGPT in law: unlocking new opportunities while managing the risks (https://www.allens.com.au/insights-news/insights/2023/02/ChatGPT-in-law/)

Andries Law Firm (13 Feb 2023) – Is ChatGPT safe to use from a legal standpoint? (https://www.andrieslawfirm.com/is-chatgpt-safe-to-use-from-a-legal-standpoint/)

Stephenson Harwood (8 Feb 2023) – ChatGPT: Will it pass its probation? (https://www.shlegal.com/insights/chatgpt-will-it-pass-its-probation)

Goodwin Procter (2 Feb 2023) – ChatGPT might simplify life for in-house counsel (https://www.goodwinlaw.com/en/news-and-events/news/2023/02/02_02-chatgpt-might-simplify-life-for-in-house-counsel)

VB Attorneys (1 Feb 2023) – How ChatGPT is revolutionizing the legal profession (https://www.vbattorneys.com/blog/how-chat-gpt-is-revolutionizing-the-legal-profession)

Barbeau Evans (30 Jan 2023) – ChatGPT and the World of Law (https://www.barbeau.co/commerce-marketing/chatgpt-and-the-world-of-law/)

Morris, Manning & Martin (30 Jan 2023) – Are lawyers at risk of being replaced by AI like ChatGPT? (https://mmmpressions.mmmlaw.com/post/102i6gl/are-lawyers-at-risk-of-being-replaced-by-ai-like-chatgpt)

Addleshaw Goddard (19 Jan 2023) – ChatGPT (https://www.addleshawgoddard.com/en/insights/insights-briefings/tech-talks/chatgpt/)


Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig (17 Jan 2023) – Will ChatGPT end the legal profession? Don’t fire your lawyer just yet (https://www.dbllawyers.com/will-chatgpt-end-the-legal-profession/)

Gilbert + Tobin (17 Jan 2023) – CPTZero: an antidote to ChatGPT (https://www.gtlaw.com.au/knowledge/gptzero-antidote-chatgpt)

Linklaters (19 Dec 2022) – ChatGPT – 50 questions to road test its legal advice (https://www.linklaters.com/en-hk/insights/blogs/digilinks/2022/december/chatgpt—50-questions-to-road-test-its-legal-advice)

Fieldfisher (9 Dec 2022) – ChatGPT – legal challenges, legal opportunities (https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/chatgpt-legal-challenges-legal-opportunities)

ChatGPT: do the benefits outweigh the potential pitfalls?

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot system developed by OpenAI which uses large databases of language to generate human conversational text based on the context of the conversation. “GPT” means Generative Pre-training Transformer architecture, a neural network designed for natural language processing tasks. It uses its pre-trained massive databases from the internet to intake inputs and almost instantly prompts and generates the appropriate response in a natural, human, and conversational text structure. You can ask anything on ChatGPT; in doing this, you help the company to improve the software.

ChatGPT, an opportunity or a challenge?

Since its release last November, ChatGPT has been the fastest-growing online application in history, reaching 100 million monthly active users. However, it also has boosted concerns about AI technology. On the one hand, schools and colleges are restricting students’ access to ChatGPT on campus, and on the other hand, they are adopting anti-cheating technology. The banking sector, which deals with highly confidential data and is closely monitored by regulators, tends to restrict staff using ChatGPT[1]. Interestingly, some law firms embrace the software by encouraging their employees to evaluate the benefits of ChatGPT or incorporate ChatGPT into their daily work.

Benefits of using ChatGPT

“The model was trained using text databases from the internet. This included a whopping 570GB of data obtained from books, webtexts, Wikipedia, articles and other pieces of writing on the internet. To be even more exact, 300 billion words were fed into the system.” [2]

The resourceful and powerful ChatGPT does help law firms optimize their operations and services and promote legal professionals’ efficiency. There is a range of work ChatGPT can help improve a law firm’s operations, including legal research, document drafting, and predictive analysis.

Legal Research: ChatGPT can analyze vast volumes of legal documents, case law, statutes, and legal opinions to identify relevant information, inconsistencies, and potential issues and provide summaries of applicable case law almost immediately.

Case Analysis: ChatGPT can help lawyers and law firms to analyze legal precedents and then quickly identify potential conflicts, gaps in the law, and legal trends that could impact a case.

Predictive analytics: ChatGPT uses a language model to predict the outcome of future cases by analyzing data on past issues and identifying patterns and trends.

Legal Drafting: Within its massive databases, ChatGPT has a wealth of legal documents which can be used as templates to assist legal professionals in drafting legal documents, such as contracts, legal briefs, and pleadings.

Risks of using ChatGPT

Even though OpenAI is constantly working hard to train ChatGPT, they admit the software still has limitations[3].

Since ChatGPT is trained on a large amount of data, it may only sometimes be able to distinguish between credible and inaccurate information from a legal perspective. The possibility of an incorrect answer is a challenge to the legal community, which is sought and established through accuracy with reams of case law, legislation, and other legal authorities.

There is a question about authorship and intellectual property in relation to answers provided by ChatGPT, which may include copyrighted material. If any lawyer uses the generated text replies, s/he might infringe the copyrights.

Another danger of ChatGPT is the potential for confidentiality breaches. Law firms and lawyers have a duty to protect their clients’ confidential information and ensure that ChatGPT is used in a way that does not compromise this duty. For example, if you input sensitive and highly confidential client information into ChatGPT for queries, it may breach data privacy laws and expose you to claims for damages, penalties and harm the company’s reputation.

[1] Julia Horowitz, “JPMorgan restricts employee use of ChatGPT”, CNN, 22 February 2023, https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/22/tech/jpmorgan-chatgpt-employees/index.html (accessed 25 Feb 2023)

[2] Alex Hughes, ‘ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about OpenAI’s GPT-3 tool” ’, Science Focus, 2 February 2023,https://www.sciencefocus.com/future-technology/gpt-3/ (accessed 26 Feb 2023)

[3] Openai.com/blog/chatgpt/

Legal Move Updates (Jan – Mar 2023)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list.


24 Mar – Mishcon de Reya (Singapore, Singapore)

Mishcon de Reya has promoted eight of its lawyers to partner—fewer than half the number made up the previous year.

The law firm has promoted a single lawyer, Singapore-based Hong Chong Yi, to equity partner—as well as seven lawyers to junior equity partners. (from http://www.law.com)

22 Mar – Cooley (Beijing, Shanghai, & Hong Kong, China)

Cooley announced a new generation of leadership in three of its Asia offices. Xun Zeng and Michael Yu have been appointed as the first-ever partners in charge in the firm’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices, respectively. In Shanghai, Yiming Liu has assumed leadership of the office from Christina Zhang, who led the Shanghai office since joining Cooley in 2012.

Zeng joined Cooley’s Beijing office in 2019 and is a partner in Cooley’s investment funds practice. Broadly speaking, her practice focuses on the formation, structuring and operation of a wide variety of investment funds, including venture capital, private equity, hybrid and co-investment funds. In 2021, Zeng became the first Asia-based member of the firm’s partnership nominating committee.

Yu joined Cooley in 2019 as a partner in the capital markets practice based in Hong Kong. His practice focuses on initial public offerings and other equity capital markets transactions on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, pre-IPO investments, public takeovers, and listing rules and securities regulations compliance. Yu has deep Hong Kong regulatory experience with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

Liu joined Cooley’s Shanghai office in 2021 as a partner in the capital markets practice. He represents companies and investment funds on strategic transactions in the life sciences and technology industries and is widely recognized for his work on life sciences and healthcare IPOs in Hong Kong and the US. He holds advanced degrees in molecular, cellular and developmental biology and health services administration. (from http://www.law.com)

22 Mar – Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.  (Mumbai, India)

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. has hired corporate experts Danish Kazi and Manan Mehta as partners in Mumbai from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.

With more than 15 years of experience, Kazi specialises in private equity, M&A and corporate restructuring. He advises sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and private equity funds on their investments and divestments in India, and Indian conglomerates on restructuring, cross-border transactions and joint ventures.

Kazi joined CAM as a partner in 2018 from Khaitan & Co, where he was a principal associate. . Prior to that, he worked at AZB & Partners and Crawford Bayley & Co.

Meanwhile, Mehta has experience of nearly two decades in M&A, securities law, corporate restructuring, corporate & commercial law, insolvency and bankruptcy, capital markets and litigation and arbitration. He advises multinational companies on foreign investments, involving both listed as well as unlisted entities, across sectors in India.

Mehta joined CAM as a partner in 2017 from AZB & Partners, and was at Crawford Bayley before that.  (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

16 Mar – Abhishek Sharma & Associates (Mumbai, India)

Abhishek Sharma, co-head of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas’ (CAM) real estate practice, has left to set up his own firm in Mumbai.

Abhishek Sharma & Associates will advise financial institutions, funds, real estate developers, large corporate houses and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) on strategic real estate matters, land and title diligence reports, and disputes related to real estate.

Having started his Wadia Ghandy & Co, Sharma moved to Khaitan & Co. in 2005. He left the latter firm as an equity partner in 2019 to join CAM. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

16 Mar – Norton Rose Fulbright (Sydney, Australia)

Norton Rose Fulbright has made its second Australian partner hire in two days, with financial crime prosecutor Sonja Marsic joining the global law firm in Sydney.

Marsic joins the firm’s national risk advisory team from the Australian Government’s central legal service, the Australian Government Solicitor. Norton Rose said she is among the most successful solicitor prosecutors of financial crime and anti-money laundering (AML) cases in Australia. (from http://www.law.com)

15 Mar – Atsumi & Sakai (Tokyo, Japan)

Japanese law firm Atsumi & Sakai (A&S) has hired finance specialist Taku Sonoura as a partner from Nishimura & Asahi.

Sonoura’s arrival marks the fifth lateral partner hire in Tokyo by A&S in the past 10 months. The other four are Harukuni Ito, Mitsuru Misawa and Kazuki Ishihara as partners in Tokyo, who cover emerging practice areas such as data protection, risk advisory, and environmental, social and governance (ESG); and corporate practitioner Fumiyo Doi, who joined last month and in-house role at GE Healthcare.

With more than two decades of experience, Sonoura advises on banking, structured finance, securitisation, trust, tax and tax planning, real estate finance and REIT among other things.

Having started his career at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu in 2001, Sonoura moved to Nishimura & Asahi in 2014. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

14 Mar – Norton Rose Fulbright (Sydney & Melbourne, Australia)

Norton Rose Fulbright has boosted its mergers and acquisitions team in Australia with the addition of a partner from PwC.

Michael O’Neill will divide his time between Norton Rose’s Sydney and Melbourne offices. (from http://www.law.com)

14 Mar – Ashurst (Sydney, Australia)

International law firm Ashurst has hired an experienced employment partner and former prosecutor to bolster its growing workplace health and safety practice.

Sydney-based Scarlet Reid, who joins from the partnership of local firm McCullough Robertson, has specialized in workplace health and safety and employment law for 25 years. Her safety practice focuses on investigations, incident management, and assisting clients to respond to safety regulators. (from http://www.law.com)

14 Mar – Rajah & Tann (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore firm Big Four firm Rajah & Tann has added an international arbitration lawyer to its partnership in Singapore.

Vanina Sucharitkul will initially be based in Bangkok and will eventually relocate to Singapore. (from http://www.law.com)

9 Mar – Stephenson Harwood (Hong Kong, China & Singapore)

Stephenson Harwood has appointed new leaders in Asia, which will see Jamie Stranger cut short his five-year term as Greater China managing partner, as well as the retirement of Singapore head Martin Green.

Dispute resolution partner, Daryll Ng, has succeeded Green, who will be retiring from the partnership in April. As the firm’s new Singapore head, Ng has relinquished his title as managing partner of Virtus Law, Stephenson Harwood’s Singapore Formal Law Alliance practice, to commercial litigator and restructuring lawyer, Lauren Tang. (from http://www.law.com)

7 Mar – Deacons (Hong Kong , China)

Deacons has strengthened its financial services practice bench in Hong Kong with the hire of regulatory lawyer Isabella Wong as a partner from global asset manager PIMCO, where she was a senior legal counsel.

The hire comes about six months after the Hong Kong-based firm added Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s former corporate partner Mark Stevens. The firm did, however, also lose its capital markets partner, Peter Cheng, to Paul Hastings in November. (from http://www.law.com)

7 Mar – Yoon & Yang (Seoul, Korea)

Korean law firm Yoon & Yang has hired three senior foreign attorneys: U.S.-qualified M&A expert Jason W. Lee (L) joins from Kim & Chang, corporate specialist Sung Jin Ro joins from an in-house role at Versum Materials, and China-qualified technology practitioner Song Feng Hong joins from Bae Kim & Lee. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

7 Mar – Luthra & Luthra Law Offices (Delhi, India)

Indian law firm Luthra and Luthra Law Offices has hired disputes expert Shreya Sircar as a partner in Delhi from Bharucha & Partners, its second partner hire in the capital in the last two weeks.

With more than 13 years of experience, Sircar advises on commercial disputes, arbitration, and litigation. She joined Bharucha in 2021 from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, where she was a principal associate. She previously worked for Bhasin & Company Advocates. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

6 Mar – Quinn Emanuel (Beijing, China)

Xiao Liu, the firm’s China practice chair and Shanghai co-managing partner, will be relocating to Beijing to lead the firm’s new office.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has received Chinese government approval to open a new office in Beijing—its fourth outfit in Asia.

The firm has over the past few years witnessed a shift in its clientele in China which warrants a physical Beijing presence, said Xiao Liu, Quinn Emanuel’s China practice chair and Shanghai co-managing partner. (from http://www.law.com)

3 Mar – DLA Piper (Bankgok Thailand)

DLA Piper has added a new partner to its corporate practice in Bangkok.

Joining from Baker McKenzie is Thananan Sangnuan, who has worked at Baker McKenzie for over two decades, first starting as an associate in 1998. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

2 Mar  – PDLegal (Singapore)

Singapore law firm PDLegal has welcomed aboard disputes expert Nazim Khan as senior partner from UniLegal, its third disputes partner hire in just over a year.

In October last year, PDLegal hired insurance disputes expert Wei Hong Ling, while international arbitration and China practice specialist Cathryn Neo joined the firm in February 2022 from Ashurst ADTLaw.

With more than 25 years of experience, Khan focuses on fraud and white-collar crime cases, international arbitration matters, and forensic investigations. In a notable case, he represented an ex-Goldman director in the 1MDB case in relation to CMS charges in Malaysia as they related to Singapore. Khan also advises clients on corporate matters, including shareholders’ agreements, mergers and acquisitions, and asset and business purchases and sales. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

2 Mar – IndusLaw (Gurugram, India)

Indian law firm IndusLaw has welcomed a team of corporate lawyers from J Sagar Associates (JSA) in Gurugram, including partner Shantanu Jindel and principal associate Shweta Gupta.

Jindel advises on mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments, with a focus on the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

2 Mar- J Sagar Associates (Gurugram, India)

Indian law firm J Sagar Associates (JSA) has hired Shraddha Krishnan Dash as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice in Gurugram from Trilegal, where she was a counsel.

Dash advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity transactions, and inbound and outbound investments in sectors such as information technology, infrastructure, renewable energy, and insurance. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)



28 Feb – Norton Rose Fulbright (Tokyo, Japan)

Norton Rose Fulbright has secured Japanese law capability with the hire of a new Japanese-law-qualified banking and restructuring partner, Akihiko Takamatsu.

The firm will now operate as a foreign law joint enterprise, known in Japan as a Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo. (from http://www.law.com)

28 Feb – DLA Piper (Brisbane, Australia)

DLA Piper has rehired lawyer Jack Brumpton to the firm’s Brisbane office as a partner in the finance, projects & restructuring practice.

He is returning to the firm from renewable energy company Sun Cable where he was senior legal counsel. Prior to that Brumpton had been Special Counsel at DLA Piper in Brisbane. (from http://www.law.com)

28 Feb – Goodwin Procter (Singapore)

Goodwin Procter has made its first lateral partner hire in Singapore since launching in the city-state in October.

Matthew Nortcliff joins Goodwin from CMS, where he was head of the firm’s funds and indirect real assets practice in Asia.  (from http://www.law.com)

28 Feb – Clifford Chance (Singapore)

Clifford Chance has hired a new Singapore technology practice partner, Stella Cramer, from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Cramer was Norton Rose’s technology practice co-head globally, co-head of the firm’s intellectual property and technology practice across Asia, the Middle East and Europe, as well as its fintech practice in Southeast Asia. (from http://www.law.com)

27 Feb – K&L Gates (Sydney, Australia)

K&L Gates has bolstered its real estate team with the hire of a partner from Australian firm Arnold Bloch Leibler, continuing a strong run of hires in Asia Pacific.

Sydney-based Jennifer McCosker has advised commercial property investors and developers on transactions including large-scale property and development finance matters, among others. Before joining Arnold Bloch Leibler in 2022, she was for 11 years a lawyer at King & Wood Mallesons, according to her LinkedIn profile. (from http://www.law.com)

27 Feb – Ascendant Legal (Singapore)

Ascendant Legal, Norton Rose Fulbright’s (NRF) formal law alliance firm in Singapore, has hired Mei Yen Tan as its head of restructuring and insolvency from local outfit Oon & Bazul, where she co-led that practice.

Tan joined Oon & Bazul in 2017 from WongPartnership, where she had been a partner since 2011. Prior to that, she was a director at another Big Four firm, Drew & Napier.

With more than two decades of experience, Tan advises multi-national corporations, court-appointed administrators, funds, banks and individuals on cross-border disputes, insolvency and restructuring, corporate fraud, and investigations. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

23 Feb – Han Kun Law Offices (Shanghai, China)

Tian Yuan Law Firm’s Shanghai-based managing partner Xu Ping has moved to Han Kun Law Offices to strengthen the latter’s capital markets capability.

Bringing more than 20 years of experience, new partner Xu specialises in securities, M&A, capital restructuring and overseas financing. (from http://www.law.com)

23 Feb – Luthra & Luthra Law Offices (Delhi, India)

Indian law firm Luthra and Luthra Law Offices has welcomed TMT expert Vikash Kukreti as a partner in Delhi from Big Four consulting firm EY, where he was director, regulatory advisory.

With more than decades of experience, Kukreti advises on compliance, regulatory and other disputes and litigations, contracts, business and operational issues, and policy and governance implementation. He joined EY in 2020, prior to which he held in-house roles at Telenor India. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

21 Feb – Appleby (Hong Kong)

Offshore law firm Appleby has recruited veteran restructuring expert Lorinda Peasland as a partner in Hong Kong from rival Harneys, where she was a consultant.

She becomes Appleby’s first partner in Hong Kong since July last year, when it added former Harneys partner Bronwyn King.

With over 30 years of cross-border onshore and offshore experience, Peasland advises banks, funds, creditors, accountancy firms, onshore law firms and regulators on restructuring, insolvency and workouts. She was earlier an equity partner at DLA Piper for 13 years. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

16 Feb – Cyril Amarchand Mangalds (Mumbai, India) 

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has expanded its current two-member technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice with the hire of intellectual property (IP) and education lawyer Aarushi Jain for its Mumbai office.

Jain, who was previously a senior associate and the IP and education practice group leader of Nishith Desai Associates, will now be Cyril Amarchand’s head of media, education and gaming practice. (from http://www.law.com)

13 Feb – Hall & Wilcox (Sydney, Australia)

Baker McKenzie has parted ways a finance partner who leaves its Sydney office join an Australian firm at the same time as it has hired a lawyer from Allen & Overy.

Baker McKenzie partner David Cooper left the firm to lead the Sydney finance practice at Hall & Wilcox. His expertise includes project finance, acquisition finance, corporate finance and real estate finance and he acts for a mix of domestic and offshore clients. (from http://www.law.com)

12 Feb – Allen & Overy (Hong Kong, China)

Allen & Overy has hired White & Case’s only Hong Kong litigation partner, in a knock to its Asia disputes practice.

The firm has added Melody Chan as a partner in Hong Kong from White & Case, where she was the head of the firm’s Greater China disputes practice. Her departure will leave White & Case without any commercial litigation and international arbitration partners in Hong Kong. (from http://www.law.com)

9 Feb – Ashurst (Sydney, Australia)

Ashurst has hired two lawyers, including a partner, from Deloitte to join its tax controversy practice in Australia, in anticipation of growing demand for complex advice as governments focus on revenue collections to bolster their budgets.

Deloitte partner Colin Little and director Vanja Podinic both join the firm’s Sydney office as partners. (from http://www.law.com)

9 Feb – Atsumi & Sakai (Tokyo, Japan)

Japanese law firm Atsumi & Sakai (A&S) has hired corporate practitioner Fumiyo Doi as partner in Tokyo from GE Healthcare, where she held an in-house role.

Doi joined GE Healthcare last year from another in-house role at Amazon Japan, where she worked about six years. She spent the early part of her career at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu.

Experienced in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors, Doi advises on fintech, communications and intellectual property matters, among other things. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

9 Feb – Ashurst (Sydney, Australia)

Ashurst has hired two lawyers, including a partner, from Deloitte to join its tax controversy practice in Australia, in anticipation of growing demand for complex advice as governments focus on revenue collections to bolster their budgets.

Deloitte partner Colin Little and director Vanja Podinic both join the firm’s Sydney office as partners. (from http://www.law.com)

8 Feb – CMS (Hong Kong, China)

CMS has hired a Mayer Brown practice head to lead its Hong Kong asset finance practice.

Conor Warde, who has been based in the city-state for more than a decade, was Mayer Brown’s head of ship finance and maritime practice in Hong Kong. (from http://www.law.com)

8 Feb – J.Sagar Associates (India)

Indian law firm J. Sagar Associates has hired Varun Sehgal as a partner in its corporate practice. Sehgal joins from hotel aggregator Oyo Hotels and Homes, where he was VP legal.

Sehgal joined Oyo in September 2021 from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, where he was a partner. Prior to that, he spent about 13 years at the legacy Amarchand Mangaldas and then Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, becoming a partner in 2017.

With experience in strategic acquisitions, joint ventures, and corporate restructuring in e-commerce, retail, technology and infrastructure sectors, Sehgal was part of the global legal and compliance team at Oyo, focusing on transaction management. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com

8 Feb – Simmons & Simmons (Hong Kong, China)

Employment lawyer Wendy Wong has returned to Simmons & Simmons as a partner in Hong Kong following a 14-month stint at DLA Piper, where she was a counsel.

Wong specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment law matters, with a focus on sectors including financial institutions, asset management and investment funds. She previously spent a decade at Simmons & Simmons before joining DLA in November 2021. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

7 Feb – King & Wood Mallesons (Melbourne, Australia)

King & Wood Mallesons has rehired lawyer Annamarie Rooding, who is joining the firm as an employment law partner.

Rooding joins the firm’s Melbourne office from her own employment law consultancy. Before that, she spent eight years in-house at the wagering company Tabcorp, with more than three of those years as general counsel for operations. (from http://www.law.com)

6 Feb – K&L Gates (Sydney, Australia)

K&L Gates has rehired a partner to its asset management and investment funds practice from Australian funds management company Maple-Brown Abbott, where he was general counsel.

Matthew Watts, who will join K&L Gates’ Sydney office, was previously a partner in the firm’s asset management and investment funds before joining global asset manager First Sentier Investors and then Maple-Brown Abbott.  (from http://www.klgates.com)

6 Feb – Paul Hastings (Hong Kong)

Paul Hastings has bolstered its capital markets practice in Asia with the hire of Sidley Austin partner Steven Hsu in Hong Kong.

Hsu’s legal career spans more than 12 years advising various entities, including financial institutions and asset managers, on corporate finance and capital markets transactions. This includes co-leading Sidley’s team acting as Hong Kong and U.S. legal counsel for joint sponsors and the underwriters on lifestyle products retailer MINISO Group’s $72 million dual-primary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last year. (from http://www.law.com)

6 Feb – Morrison & Foerster (Singapore, Singapore)

Morrison & Foerster has boosted its private equity and real estate practice in Asia with the hire of Tabitha Saw from White & Case for its Singapore office.

The appointment comes slightly over a month after Mayer Brown Hong Kong corporate partner Steven Tran relocated to Singapore to join Morrison & Foerster. (from http://www.law.com)

3 Feb – DLA Piper (Singapore, Singapore)

DLA Piper has appointed international tax veteran Barbara Voskamp as a partner for its Singapore office. She was previously the Asia Pacific co-head and Singapore head of Rotterdam-based Loyens & Loeff.

According to the Loyens & Loeff’s website, Voskamp was its only member of staff in Singapore. It is unclear if the firm will continue operating in Singapore with Voskamp’s departure. The firm has been contacted for comment. (from http://www.law.com)

3 Feb – Pinsent Masons (Sdynedy, Australia)

Norton Rose special counsel Melanie Hunter joins Pinsent Masons’ Sydney office as a financial services partner. She brings an extensive deal track record including advising global banks on large mixed-used real estate development and construction facilities, the international firm said. She was at Norton Rose for over nine years. (from http://www.law.com)

3 Feb – Link Legal (Bangalore, India)

Corporate generalist attorney Prashanth Sabeshan has joined Link Legal as Partner at its Bangalore Office.

Prashanth is a graduate from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore (1997 batch) and is dual qualified as an advocate and a (non-practicing) solicitor in India and UK, respectively.

With more than 24 years of experience, Prashanth specializes in general corporate, commercial contracts, infrastructure, construction, electricity, renewables and clean energy, oil & gas, ports, banking and project finance, foreign investments, real estate, regulatory and policy advisory sectors. He will strengthen the existing robust corporate, renewables, infra and ESG practices of Link Legal. (from http://www.bwlegalworld.businessworld.in

3 Feb – McCullough Robertson Lawyers (Sydney, Australia)

Norton Rose Fulbright has parted ways with two lawyers, a partner and a special counsel, both based in Sydney.

Australian law firm McCullough Robertson Lawyers has hired Norton Rose partner Stephen Iu to join its corporate team while Pinsent Masons has hired a NRF special counsel to join its partnership. (from http://www.law.com

2 Feb – Morgan Lewis & Bockius (Hong Kong, China)

U.S. law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius has hired debt capital markets expert David (Changyu) Liao as a partner in Hong Kong from the PRC’s Fangda Partners.

Liao advises corporates, investment banks, and other financial institutions based in China and other Asian countries, with experience in the issuance of investment grade bonds, high-yield bonds and debt and equity hybrid instruments as well as tender offer, exchange offer, consent solicitation and other liability management transactions in connection with debt securities. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

2 Feb – Indochine Counsel (HCMC, Vietnam)

Vietnamese law firm Indochine Counsel has hired M&A expert Truong Huu Ngu as a partner in Ho Chi Minh City from Japan’s Nishimura & Asahi (N&A), where he was a counsel.

With more than 14 years of experience, Truong advises clients in sectors such as banking, real estate, energy, and pharmaceuticals on cross-border M&A, project finance and capital markets transactions. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

1 Feb – Watson Farley & Williams (Seoul, Korea)

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) is delighted to announce the opening of its 18th international office in Seoul, South Korea, with the arrival of new Partners Eugene Chang and Philip Kim who join the firm from K&L Gates and Herbert Smith Freehills respectively.
WFW Seoul will offer services across the firm’s core sectors with a particular focus on maritime, aviation, energy and disputes work and will expand the firm’s offering across Asia and worldwide. Having a dedicated office in South Korea will also enable the firm to develop its existing South Korean-based relationships and will provide an excellent launchpad for establishing a strong presence in the country. (from http://www.wfw.com)

1 Feb – DLA Piper (Tokyo, Japan) 

DLA Piper has bolstered its cross-border M&A and energy-related project advisory capability with the hire of corporate M&A partner Peter Armstrong from Nishimura & Asahi in Tokyo.

Qualified in Canada and registered as a foreign attorney in Japan, Armstrong speaks fluent Japanese and has advised Japanese and foreign companies on cross-border transactions and projects for more than 15 years. The Canadian lawyer’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and foreign investments, specializing in renewable energy projects both in Japan and abroad. (from http://www.law.com)

1 Feb – Sidley Austin (Hong Kong, China)

Sidley Austin has strengthened its regulatory and dispute resolution capability in Asia with the hire of Stephanie Chan as a partner from Reed Smith for its China corporate and finance practice in Hong Kong.

Chan has a legal career spanning more than a decade, specializing in contentious regulatory matters, commercial litigation and international arbitration. She has handled disputes across multiple industry sectors including financial services, mining and real estate. Sidley Austin has strengthened its regulatory and dispute resolution capability in Asia with the hire of Stephanie Chan as a partner from Reed Smith for its China corporate and finance practice in Hong Kong.

Chan has a legal career spanning more than a decade, specializing in contentious regulatory matters, commercial litigation and international arbitration. She has handled disputes across multiple industry sectors including financial services, mining and real estate.

1 Feb – Clayton Utz (Brisbane, Australia)

Australian corporate law firm Clayton Utz has hired a planning law partner to join its environment and sustainable development team in Brisbane.

Wendy Evans, a practicing town planner before she qualified as a lawyer, joins the firm from Evans Planning Law, which she founded in 2020. (from http://www.law.com)


31 Jan – Pinsent Masons (Melbourne, Australia)

Pinsent Masons hired corporate partner Andrew Fisken from DLA Piper to join its Australian offices as the international law firm gears up for an anticipated rise in mergers and acquisitions from China.

Fisken, who led DLA’s China practice in Australia, specializes in cross-border M&A with a focus on advising clients from East Asia on their strategic investments into Australia and Australian clients on transactions involving Asian counterparties. (from http://www.law.com)

31 Jan – WongPartnership (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore Big Four law firm WongPartnership has hired Low Wee Siong as a partner in its China practice from local firm CNPLaw.

Low joined CNP in early 2021 from Wong Tan & Molly Lim, where he was a director. He advises on mergers and acquisitions, represents companies in takeovers, and works with issuers, sponsors, underwriters and subscribers in equity and debt market transactions. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

31 Jan – Reed Smith (Hong Kong, China)

Reed Smith and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius have each hired a debt securities partner in Hong Kong.

Reed Smith has appointed Vivian Ji, who joins the firm as a partner from the small Hong Kong corporate finance law firm Jeffrey Mak Law Firm, where she was one of two partners. (from http://www.law.com)

30 Jan – K&L Gates (Sydney, Australia)

K&L Gates has hired a corporate partner and three lawyers from Australian firm HWL Ebsworth, as it continues to grow its corporate and asset management and investment funds teams.

The hire comes just weeks after the international firm poached three other partners from HWL to join its asset management and investment funds team. (from http://www.law.com)

19 Jan – OH-EBASHI LPC & Partners (Tokyo, Japan)

Osaka-based OH-EBASHI LPC & Partners, one of Japan’s largest law firms, has hired former Atsumi & Sakai corporate M&A and disputes partner Go Hashimoto as a foreign law partner in Tokyo.

Admitted in New York and a foreign registered lawyer in Japan, Hashimoto has a legal career spanning more than 25 years specializing in cross-border corporate M&A transactions and dispute resolution. (from http://www.law.com)

18 Jan – K&L Gates Straits Law (Singapore, Singapore)

K&L Gates Straits Law has bolstered its litigation and dispute resolution practice in Asia with the hire of disputes partner Joan Lim-Casanova from Cavenagh Law, Clifford Chance’s Formal Law Alliance (FLA) partner in the city-state.

Lim-Casanova specializes in providing advice on contentious issues and dispute resolution, with a focus on commercial litigation and international arbitration. She acts on cases involving the infrastructure, power generation, and insurance sectors. Whilst at Cavenagh, she regularly advised Chinese private and state-owned enterprises on managing and avoiding disputes across Asia. (from http://www.law.com)

17 Jan – Vanguard (Melbourne, Australia)

A senior executive at Australia’s financial regulator has left the public sector to join global investment fund Vanguard to lead its Australian office of the general counsel.

Sean Hughes, who was appointed a commissioner at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in 2018, will oversee the legal and compliance functions of the business and join the Australian executive team. He starts Feb. 8.  (from http://www.law.com)

16 Jan – Linklaters (Singapore, Singapore)

Linklaters has bolstered its financial regulation, and structured finance and derivatives practices with the hire of Ashurst’s Singapore financial regulation practice head, Evan Lam, as a partner in the city state.

Lam’s hire comes about a week after the U.K. firm expanded its investment funds practice also in Singapore with the hire of counsel Kylee Zhu, who was previously Singapore-based Dymon Asia Capital’s deputy general counsel.

Starting his legal career at Singapore firm Allen & Gledhill, Lam advises banks, fund managers and brokerage houses on Singapore financial regulations, specializing in areas such as over-the-counter derivatives and financial technology. (from http://www.law.com)

12 Jan – Loeb & Loeb (Hong Kong, China)

Loeb & Loeb has strengthened its corporate practice in Asia with the hire of Cooley’s former Beijing corporate practice head Henry Yin as a partner for its Greater China practice.

Yin specializes in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as well as equity and capital investments. He represented Asia-based private equity firm SAIF Partners on a $401 million offer to take private Chinese biotech company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. from Nasdaq in 2017. He also acted for Hong Kong-based tech startup Tink Labs on a $125 million financing round from technology manufacturer Foxconn in 2016. (from http://www.law.com)

12 Jan – Allen & Overy (Perth, Australia)

Allen & Overy has announced the appointment of David Jenaway as its office managing partner for Perth.

Jenaway’s appointment will take effect on February 1, as he succeeds M&A partner Geoff Simpson in the role. A&O said the appointment would “allow time for transition ahead of [Simpson’s] upcoming retirement from the partnership”. (from http://www.law.com)

12 Jan – Watson Farley & Williams (Singapore, Singapore)

Watson Farley & Williams has hired a new energy practice partner in Singapore from Dentons.

Kunal Kapoor was a Singapore partner and co-head of Denton’s ASEAN energy and infrastructure practice. (from http://www.law.com)

12 Jan – Cuatrecasas (Beijing & Shanghai, China)

Cuatrecasas has hired a new director of its offices in China as the country reopens after almost three years of lockdown under its zero-COVID policy.

The new director, Sandra Costas, worked for DLA Piper in China for one decade and then as senior legal director for investment management company Carpag for six years, according to her LinkedIn profile. In China, Costas also worked for the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. (from http://www.law.com)

11 Jan – Withers KhattarWong (Singapore, Singapore)

Withers KhattarWong has launched a Japan desk in Singapore with the hire of a corporate partner from a Big Four Japanese firm.

Yutaka Sakashita joins from Tokyo-based firm Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, where he had been since 2007. He relocated to Singapore in 2015 and was made partner in 2019. He advises on private equity investments in Asia Pacific. (from http://www.law.com)

9 Jan – Allen & Overy (Shanghai, China)

Allen & Overy has added an investment funds partner, Daisy Qi, to its Shanghai office from Beijing-based Han Kun Law Offices, marking the firm’s second lateral this year.

Qi’s joining follows the hire of antitrust and competition partner, Vivian Cao, to Allen & Overy’s Shanghai joint operation partner firm, Lang Yue Law Firm, last week. Cao joined the firm from the Beijing office of Linklaters’ China joint operation practice, Zhao Sheng Law Firm. (from http://www.law.com)

9 Jan – DLA Piper (Hong Kong, China)

DLA Piper has strengthened its corporate practice in Hong Kong with the hire of a corporate partner from Mayer Brown.

Xin Fang was previously a counsel at Mayer Brown in Hong Kong, a position that he had held since 2018, specializing in cross-border M&A, joint ventures and private equity transactions with a focus on Greater China and the Asia Pacific region. (from http://www.law.com)

8 Jan – Hillman Sembiring Advocates (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Oentoeng Suria & Partners (OSP), Ashurst’s association firm in Indonesia, has hired litigator Hillman Sembiring as a partner in Jakarta.

Sembiring joins from Hillman Sembiring Advocates, a firm he founded in March 2016. He previously worked at HHP, Baker McKenzie’s member firm in Indonesia.

With expertise in formulating dispute strategies, Sembiring’s experience spans class-action cases, civil lawsuits, financial derivative cases, arbitrations, and import-export disputes. He also conducts internal investigations in clients’ companies, especially on corruption and bribery issues. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

8 Jan – Baker McKenzie (Hong Kong, China)

Baker McKenzie has boosted its employment practice in Asia with the hire of employment lawyer Tess Lumsdaine from Herbert Smith Freehills for its Hong Kong office.

Before joining Baker as a partner, Lumsdaine had spent more than 12 years at Herbert Smith first as an associate in Australia and later as a counsel in Hong Kong representing Asia-based clients in labor and safety litigation cases. She also assisted businesses in carrying out multi-jurisdictional compliance and restructuring projects, as well as employee relations management. (from http://www.law.com)

5 Jan – Baker McKenzie (Hong Kong, China)

Baker McKenzie has boosted its employment practice in Asia with the hire of employment lawyer Tess Lumsdaine from Herbert Smith Freehills for its Hong Kong office.

Before joining Baker as a partner, Lumsdaine had spent more than 12 years at Herbert Smith first as an associate in Australia and later as a counsel in Hong Kong representing Asia-based clients in labor and safety litigation cases. She also assisted businesses in carrying out multi-jurisdictional compliance and restructuring projects, as well as employee relations management. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

5 Jan – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has hired real estate expert Siddharth Hariani as a partner in Mumbai from Phoenix Legal.

Hariani becomes CAM’s second real estate partner hire in Mumbai in as many months. In December, the law firm added Rishiraj Prasad Bhatt from Kanga & Co.

Hariani, who was a partner at Phoenix Legal for 11 years, advises real estate developers, companies, funds and investors on mergers and acquisitions and investment in the real estate sector. He began his career at Hariani & Co before joining Phoenix in 2011. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

4 Jan – Link Legal (New Delhi, India)

Indian law firm Link Legal has recruited energy and environment expert Rajesh K Sehgal as a partner in New Delhi from the Singapore office of U.S.-headquartered Trina Solar, where he was head of legal and regulatory compliance for India and the Asia-Pacific.

With more than 23 years of experience, Sehgal advises on cross-border energy assets acquisition, renewables and infrastructure projects, project financing, risk management, contracts and due diligence, and global compliance.

Sehgal, who joined Trina Solar in 2015, previously held in-house roles at Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries and WWF India. He additionally worked at law Fox Mandal in Delhi. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

4 Jan – Tilleke & Gibbins (Bangkok, Thailand)

Thailand’s Tilleke & Gibbins has hired five capital markets lawyers in Bangkok, led by partner Yaowarote Klinboon, from the local office of U.S. law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth.

Joining Yaowarote in the move are senior associaties Karinevidch Olivero, Phatamol Phisitbuntoon, and Sittiwate Jewsittiprapai, and associate Wisara Harnchonboth.

With more than 20 years of experience in domestic and international capital markets work, Yaowarote is experienced in U.S., Singaporean and Thai securities law. She also advises on general corporate matters, corporate governance, and M&A, as well as offerings of equity and debt instruments.

Yaowarote, who started her career at the legacy Weerawong, Chinnavat & Peangpanor in 2003, left that firm in 2015 to join The Capital Law Office. She moved to the pre-merger Hunton & Williams in 2017, becoming a partner in November 2021. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

3 Jan – Allen & Overy (Bijing, China)

Allen & Overy and Linklaters have both kicked off the new year by adding new partners to their joint operation practices in mainland China.

Shanghai Lang Yue Law Firm, Allen & Overy’s joint operation partner, has hired Linklaters antitrust and competition partner, Vivian Cao, who had been practicing in the Beijing office of Linklaters’ China joint operation practice, Zhao Sheng Law Firm. (from http://www.law.com)

A Challenging Year: An Appraisal of the Chinese Legal Market in 2022

Vicky Liu, Director at Hughes-Castell, is held in high esteem by clients and candidates in China’s legal market. In this interview with Agnes Wang from China Business Law Podcast, she discusses what China’s legal market looked like in 2022 under the influence of the pandemic, and the trends of Chinese and foreign law firms in China.

Q: Vicky, please describe the Greater China legal market in 2022.

In 2023, although law firms’ businesses in the region were generally quiet, some practices were busy during the year: dispute resolution (including international arbitration, restructuring & insolvency), IP, TMT/data privacy/cyber security, and compliance regulations. In contrast, there were practices deeply troubled by the pandemic. For example, corporate/capital markets/M&A have been quiet in 2022.

Q Could you tell us more about the development of Compliance practice in the Greater China region?

Regarding compliance practices, some Chinese law firms have done well. This is because they developed the field very early, were well-developed on quite a large scale, and have earned their strong reputations in the market.

Government regulatory requirements are becoming more and more stringent and fast-changing, so companies in China have an increasing demand for regulatory compliance. As a result, some Chinese law firms that do not have partners or resources in this area were willing to strengthen the development of regulatory compliance businesses to respond to market demands.

Besides compliance investigations and anti-corruption, FCPA-related compliance and audit checks on China-listed companies are in great demand in China.

Q: How was the legal recruitment market in China?

On Associate-level, overall, there were fewer vacancies in 2022. Summing up the experience of this year, the sources of new positions are as follows:

  1. The on-demand practices mentioned earlier need to keep pace with the increased business by hiring.
  2. Although the corporate and capital markets practices were less busy than before, law firms are still hiring for replacements when associates leave. Alternatively, the firms will see if internal reorganisation is possible.
  3. When a law firm recruited a new partner, but s/he did not bring her/his own team. Then, the law firm needs to build a new team for the partner.
  4. We have seen some joint-venture firms in recent years. Whenever there is a joint-venture firm established, it will typically recruit many associates. Despite that, this year, only a few joint ventures were hiring talent, such as in litigation and labour law practices.

On Counsel/Partner-level hires, we found that Chinese firms were much more active than international firms; also, more international firms’ partners moved or were willing to move to Chinese law firms than previously.

As mentioned above, dispute resolution and intellectual property practices were active in China. The firms that are well-renowned for these practices are Chinese law firms. Although some international firms have good litigation and IP teams in China,  they are still in the minority; also, these practices involve litigation work, so Chinese law firms are in a favorable position;

At the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, the Big Four accounting firms’ legal arms closed down, and these partners’ potential destinations attracted attention. Most of them have moved to Chinese law firms, Red Circle firms particularly, regardless of the practices. Most of them came from Corporate practice. Only a few chose international firms.

From these moves, one can infer that Chinese firms are the preferred choice to partners now.

Q: Do Chinese law firms tend to recruit talent from international firms? Or from other channels? Do you have any suggestions for the lawyers or partners of international firms about to leave?

Chinese law firms still welcome lawyers from international firms, especially their senior consultants or partners. In the meantime, senior lawyers of international law firms also think that Chinese firms will be their ideal stop for their career development. Chinese firms are very fond of lawyers with international backgrounds who have worked in international firms for many years and have overseas experience as well as mainland industry experience, which makes the offering of Chinese firms more international. Moreover, Chinese law firms can apply their partners’ international expertise to serve multinational corporation clients as if they were international law firms. Now the market has changed; well-developed Chinese law firms can play the lead counsel role for their multinational clients that international law firms previously performed.

Some international law firms got strength in litigation, life sciences, data privacy, or compliance teams overseas. The lawyers who work in their Chinese offices are Chinese law firms’ preferred recruitment targets because they are equipped with international expertise and local experience.

Regarding suggestions, it is hard to give one for all. The situation varies each time. Career development must be improved from the senior associate level and above. If you need to set up a new business/team in your new firm, most importantly, you have to ensure whether the firm has the resources and willingness to provide you with any necessary support.

Lastly, the lawyers should evaluate whether their background and expertise are a good fit for the firm and its client group. Whether is there synergy between you and the firm. Whether there be good cooperation between you and incumbent partners And whether you can work together to solve any problems. I have handled a complicated case of compensation negotiation recently. Although the processes were challenging, the partner was very pleased and full of confidence to join the new firm after the negotiation. The negotiation process encouraged him that he can work with the firm in resolving difficult situations.

Q: What other trends are there in China’s legal market?

The most apparent trend in the past two years is the continuous expansion of business areas of Chinese law firms. In addition to the established Red Circle firms, some Chinese firms are well-known for their specific practices or expertise and have continued to expand. Their goal is to provide one-stop services for their clients.

We saw more lateral hires returning to private practice. They left private practice to move in-house, and after a few years, they moved back to law firms. Most of them are taking partner roles. It is common in IP, TMT, Data Privacy, and Compliance practices. Why?

  1. Although the in-house legal department is vital for a corporate, it is only a supporting department. The development of lawyers within the enterprise is limited. Inprivate practice, lawyer’s professional career development seems relatively longer;
  2. Lawyers perfect law firms’ work and rhythm;
  3. Since these lawyers come from in-house,  they have greater insight and can provide solutions from their client’s perspective, better services fulfilling customers’ needs.

Q In the in-house recruitment market, which industries are more active?

The in-house legal recruitment market was stable this year. Even though during Shanghai’s lockdown law firms slowed down, in-house legal departments have been actively recruiting to preserve their department headcount. However, we saw a recruitment drop-off in the year’s second half.

Active industries: Medical/Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Startups (Electric Vehicles). Relatively quiet industries: Retail, Mobile Luxury, FMCG.

Q What do clients looking to hire in-house counsel value in ability, qualifications, and background?

There are several aspects the company will prioritse. At mid-level (4-7 yrs), legal )counsel/senior legal counsel – 1). an excellent legal background: graduated from a top-tier law school in China along with overseas education background and experience in any leading law firm, such as a Red Circle firm; 2). China legal qualification: more and more companies seek candidates with a Chinese Bar. Of course, an overseas bar, especially an American Bar, would be a strong plus; 3). In addition to corporate transactions, experience in general corporate/commercial, labor law, data, compliance, etc., are highly desirable; 4). Multinational corporations used to hire lawyers onlyfrom international law firms. Nowadays, many people prefer Red Circle law firms for their experience in China. Moreover, the quality of the lawyers in these RedCircle firms is outstanding, and their salary is relatively lower than their peers in international firms. Professional background, Chinese language skills, and expected salary levels make lawyers from Red Circle law firms very desirable in the in-house recruitment market.

For the private equity or investment bank recruitment market, companies prefer senior lawyers from international law firms with high-end, international transaction experience.

Last but not least, multinational companies need excellent written and oral English.

Q Any suggestions for lawyers who want to turn in-house?

As mentioned above, corporations will have more vacancies at 4-7 years PQE. So, for any private practice lawyer wanting to turn in-house, I first advise paying attention to opportunities after you have worked in a firm for 4 to 7 years. If you are searching for a more senior in-house role, you had better have acquired in-house and private practice experience.

While you are working in law firms, in addition to transactions, try to gain broader experience in labor law, data, compliance, IP etc. A wider skill set is more appealing in the in-house market.

Recoveries vary across different countries, but overall rebound expected in 2023

After having their economies battered for over two years, in 2022 several countries were fighting to return to normal while China was clinging to Covid restrictions. China’s strict zero-Covid policy had a ripple effect on the economy and the legal industry. As a result, Australia has replaced China as the region’s top location for significant hires last year. Singapore usurped Hong Kong as the second most active location for lateral hires in 2022.

Although China had a quiet 2022, China’s legal recruitment market regained momentum in Q4 after the shift away from its strict Covid restriction policy. There is optimism that legal markets in the wider region will rebound after China returns to normal.

The corporate practice continues to be the busiest practice in the region, but its share has dropped from 30% to 23%. Hong Kong, an international financial hub, was deeply affected by Covid-19. Capital markets transactions and business operations were quiet throughout the year. Instead, there was substantial growth in the insurance practice.

The most significant partner recruiters in 2022 were Herbert Smith Freehills, Ashurst, Trilegal, Clyde & Co, and White & Case. They have been active in job markets throughout the year and accounted for  16% of key hires.

Top Partner Recruiters in the Region




  • 156 firms have made significant hires in 2022. The top 5 significant-hire recruiters are Herbert Smith Freehills Ashurst, Trilegal (India), Clyde & Co and White & Case that shared 16% of total key appointments in the region.
  • Among the top 5 partner recruiters in 2022, 3 are UK law firms, 1 from the US, and 1 from India.
  • Top 5 partner recruiters were active in the region throughout 4 quarters.
  • Top 3 locations of their hires are Australia, India, and then Singapore. 




  • Despite a 18% decrease of lateral hires in 2022 compared to 2021, We have witnessed stable legal recruitment markets in certain areas throughout the year.
  • There was growth in the fall of 2022 compared to the previous year.





  • In 2022, Australia and Singapore saw growth in the number of key appointments compared to 2021.
  • After significant drops in Q1, Q2 and Q3, China recovered in Q4.
  • Despite a strong start in the Q1 and Q2, Hong Kong saw a drop in hiring numbers in the fall.





  • In 2022, the top 5 practices were Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets (1st), DR/Litigation/Arbitration/Crime (2nd), Projects/Construction/Infrastructure/Energy (3rd), Executive Level (4th), and Banking & Finance (5th).
  • Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices constituted 23% of the key hires in the 2022.
  • Executive Level Hire, Banking & Finance, IP/TMT, Insurance, Tax, and Shipping/Transportation received growth compared to 2021.






  • Lateral private practice hires dominated (74%) the hiring markets in 2022 but saw a 28% drop compared to 2021 due to the decrease in the total number of significant hires in 2022.
  • We witnessed a growing tendency in team hires, partners rejoining former firms, going private practice, relocations, and firm acquisition 2022 compared to 2020 and 2021.
  • By contrast, we saw a significant drop in new firms being launched.

Asia Legal Market Looks To 2023 For Stability

Although the world is weary of talking about Covid and its effects on the markets and day-to-day life, the reality is that the effects of the pandemic continue to resonate in this part of the world in a way that seems like a bad memory for the west.

Protests in China have been well-documented, and have indeed led to a relaxation of restrictions. In Hong Kong, mandatory quarantine and isolation requirements for incoming travellers, and limitations on numbers gathering in social situations have belatedly been lifted (although the mandatory wearing of masks outdoors remains in place, much to the bemusement of both residents and outsiders).

Shifts in the market have been well-documented, especially the notable office closures of major, long-term resident US firms in Hong Kong preceding new launches for those firms in Singapore, previously regarded as very much poor relation of the SAR as a regional economic hub. Whether this trend continues in 2023 will be an interesting indicator of where the west sees the long-term future of the region. The increasing presence of the PRC’s major firms will continue to pick up any slack however.

Whether the appetite for opening in Hong Kong has dulled in perpetuity will also be open to debate. The number of new entrants has certainly slowed over the past few years, with severely restricted physical access to the territory being the most outwardly obvious rationale behind that. Will firms with Asian ambitions still view Hong Kong as the most attractive gateway now that travel has ceased to be a factor? Or will the emerging markets of South East Asia prove a more compelling proposition for those looking to plant a flag?

With the upheaval of the last three years it’s been difficult to predict anything with any confidence. For the first time in three years, however, the clouds are genuinely beginning to part. Let’s see what clarity and stability this brings.

Tips on how to finish 2022 strongly

2023 is coming soon! Here are our suggested ways for lawyers to have a strong year-end finish.

Make the most of the holiday season

When many practices are slowing down, and partners and clients are traveling during the holidays, the last few weeks of 2022 are a useful time for lawyers to prepare and try new business development efforts, like updating resumes, polishing LinkedIn profiles, and reaching out to contacts you haven’t connected with in a while. Also, send holiday greetings to your current contacts and your teammates.


List your highlights

To enhance your resume and professional profile, review your year by writing down the most significant successes for you and your firm. You may not be able to come up much off the top of your heads so take a moment to consider and write down the high points and achievements of the past 12 months. Self-evaluation is a good exercise that will remind you of all the good things you have done. If you aren’t happy with your list, maybe you should spend time deciding whether it is the right time to move. 

Look out for opportunities

After the great resignation, firms and corporations competed strongly for talent in 2022. The trend will continue when China fully opens up to the world. The main talking point in the Asian legal markets has been whether Singapore has stolen a march on Hong Kong as a preferred venue for international firms making entrepreneurial moves in the Asia Pacific. In addition, there are increasing opportunities for corporate, M&A, or capital markets lawyers in Tokyo. So if you are looking towards making a move, study these markets for opportunities. 

Plan for next year

Self-evaluation is good and can guide you on how you can improve in 2023. Shortlist the actions you will take to build on those successes next year. Do the same for any setbacks. Write down the lessons you have learned.

Set achievable goals and personal improvement targets and devise plans for how to reach them. Then take some time off so you can spend your holidays relaxing and having fun with your family and friends.

The Lion City awakens

Greater China, traditionally a major Asian powerhouse of lateral hires, witnessed a quiet 2022. On the other hand, Singapore had a strong Q3 and moved ahead of Hong Kong, China, and India as the joint busiest hiring market in Asian Pacific, alongside Australia. The lateral hiring markets in Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia grew stably in Q3.

Despite several economic headwinds, Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices remain the top partner recruiting areas in the Asia Pacific, despite a 48% drop from 2021. Real Estate and Employment remained stable in term of hiring numbers compared to 2021.

The top partner recruiter so far in 2022 is Herbert Smith Freehills, with two more partner hires made in Q3 (Hong Kong and Bangkok). the firm also made its largest ever round of senior associate promotions of Asian ethnicity. Singaporean law firms, including ADTLaw and DentonsRodyk, and leading Indian law firm Trilegal, were active in Q3.

Top Partner Recruiters in the Region


  • Despite countries in the region showing success in suppressing the Covid-19 pandemic, we still saw a 25% decrease in senior appointments in 2022 compared to 2021.
  • July saw significant drops in 2022 compared to 2021 and 2020.
  • The APAC lateral hiringmarket saw consecutive growth in July, August and September.


  • Australia saw76 key recruitments in Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2022, followed by Singapore (58) and Hong Kong (53).
  • Despite that Australian hiring spree, we saw a decreasing overallin that market. It is also rare to see Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia more active than China.


  • Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices dominated the key hires in Q1, Q2, and Q3 of 2022.
  • All practices except Real Estate observed a drop compared to 2021.
  • Despite a drop overall in Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets, hiring in those areas remains popular in the region.


Legal Move Updates (Oct – Dec 2022)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list.


18 December – Cooley (Shanghai,China)

Cooley has expanded its cross-border strategic investment advisory capabilities in Asia with the hire of corporate partner Ruomu Li from Morrison & Foerster for its Shanghai office.

Li has a legal career spanning more than 15 years specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals and venture capital investments, with a particular focus on global technology and life sciences markets. As a Shanghai-based corporate lawyer qualified in New York and California, she has been representing U.S., Chinese and international companies in strategic technology and life sciences deals ranging from public to private mergers to divestitures and spinoffs. (from http://www.law.com)

15 December – Mills Oakley (Adelaide, Australia)

Australian law firm Mills Oakley is to open an office in Adelaide after poaching a real estate partner from corporate law firm MinterEllison to lead the new office.

The firm already has several lawyers based in Adelaide and said the hire of Stephen Hill has provided the impetus for a permanent office which is expected to have 15 lawyers and staff at launch. (from http://www.law.com)

13 December – Ashurst (Sydney, Australia)

International law firm Ashurst has hired real estate partner Kitty Vo for its Sydney office as it seeks to expand its offering to developer and investor clients.

The hire is a return to Ashurst for Vo, who spent 14 years at the firm before joining Australian firm Hall & Wilcox as a partner in 2019. (from http://www.law.com)

13 December – Herbert Smith Freehills  (Sydney, Australia)

Herbert Smith Freehills has become the latest firm to appoint a female leader in Australia, with the announcement that Sydney intellectual property partner Kristen Stammer will become executive partner Asia and Australia next year.

Stammer, who has been with the firm for 25 years, will succeed incumbent Andrew Pike on May 1 next year. (from http://www.law.com)

8 December – Khaitan & Co (Mumbai, India)

Khaitan & Co has hired corporate lawyer Anshuman Mozumdar as partner in Mumbai from Luthra and Luthra Law Offices India.

Mozumdar, who spent more than 11 years at Luthra, specialises in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, buyouts and platform deals across sectors such as retail, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

8 December – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has hired Rishiraj Prasad Bhatt as a partner in its real estate practice in Mumbai from Kanga & Co.

Bhatt advises companies, realty developers, investors and high net-worth individuals on real estate transactions including acquisitions, sales, assignments and leasing, and on regulatory compliance. He spent the entirety of his 17-year legal career at Kanga, becoming a partner there in 2013. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

5 December – Allen & Overy (Sydney, Australia)

Allen & Overy has made another addition to its global leveraged and acquisition finance practice with the hire of a Sydney-based lawyer from Herbert Smith Freehills.

Marnie Fels, whose practice focuses on global and domestic private equity sponsors and large corporates as well as banks and financial institutions, is the latest addition to A&O’s leveraged finance team, and follows the hire of London-based partner partner Marwa Elborai from Shearman & Sterling last month. (from http://www.law.com)
5 December – DLA Piper (Hong Kong, China)

DLA Piper has boosted its finance and debt restructuring advisory capability in Asia by adding a third lawyer to its Asia finance, projects and restructuring team in Hong Kong in the past year.

Trinh Hoang joins the firm from Linklaters, where she was a Hong Kong-based managing associate in its banking team. Hoang will be joining her ex-Linklaters banking and finance colleague Crystal Chen, who joined DLA Piper from the U.K. firm in May this year. (from http://www.law.com)

5 December – Ashurst (Hong Kong, China)

London-headquartered Ashurst has hired restructuring and insolvency expert Lance Jiang as a partner in Hong Kong from Addleshaw Goddard, which recently closed its office in the Chinese city.

With this move, Jiang becomes the latest Addleshaws Hong Kong partner to find a new home, after litigator Janie Wong, who moved to Howse Williams, and disputes head Ronald Sum, who joined Baker McKenzie.

Jiang has more than 20 years of experience and advises on cross-border restructurings and insolvencies with a Chinese element. He joined Addleshaw Goddard in 2018 from an in-house role at Chinese distressed-debt manager Great Wall AMC International Holdings. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)


29 November – King & Spalding (Singapore, Singapore)

King & Spalding announced today that Richard Sharpe, an experienced trial lawyer and former barrister, has joined the firm as a partner in its Special Matters and Government Investigations practice. He is based in the firm’s Singapore office.

Sharpe assists multinational clients with a variety of criminal, civil fraud and transactions matters, including anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, international sanctions, cyber-crime, other cross-border investigations, and strategic transactions assessment. He also has significant experience in complex civil litigation and arbitrations arising from fraud and other misconduct and advises global companies on investment-related international risk and the design and implementation of compliance programs. (from http://www.kslaw.com)

23 November – Kennedys (Singapore, Singapore)

UK law firm Kennedys has bolstered its aviation offering in Asia by hiring Tristan Thompson as a partner in Singapore from DLA Piper, and naming Anita Quy as its new APAC practice head.

Thompson specialises in handling aviation and aerospace matters on behalf of operators and their insurers and reinsurers across jurisdictions. He joined DLA, where he was most recently a legal director, in 2019. Thompson began his career at Clyde & Co. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

23 November – Zhong Lun Law Firm (Hong Kong, China)

The PRC’s Zhong Lun Law Firm has hired disputes expert Terence Luk as a partner in Hong Kong from local firm Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong, where he spent about 25 years.

Luk advises on a range of disputes, including shareholder disputes, commercial litigation, cross-border arbitration, receivership, liquidation, bankruptcy, divorce, custody, wardship, guardianship, mediation, Mental Health Ordinance-related applications, professional misconduct, defamation, shipping, contentious probate matters, commercial fraud, disciplinary proceedings, regulatory and criminal matters.

His clients include companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, real estate developers, local and international banks and other financial institutions, multijurisdictional corporations, charitable organizations, NGOs, government officials, celebrities and affluent individuals. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

23 Novmeber – Trilegal (Bengaluru, India)

Indian law firm Trilegal has hired labour and employment lawyer Veena Gopalakrishnan as a partner in Bengaluru from AZB & Partners.

With 14 years of experience in employment law advisory, Gopalakrishnan offers advice relating to workforce structuring, employee mobility and employee benefits. She has also worked with organisations and industry bodies to create awareness of workplace sexual harassment, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and diversity and inclusion. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

22 November – Withers (Hong Kong, China)

U.K.-based firm Withers has hired Dentons’ Hong Kong private funds lead, Simon Wong, as a partner.

Wong’s appointment comes just weeks after the firm brought on veteran corporate partner Kazumitsu Goto from Japanese firm TMI Associates in Tokyo. (from http://www.law.com)

21 November – Squire Patton Boggs (Sydney, Australia)

Squire Patton Boggs has appointed Graeme Slattery to lead its Sydney office, replacing Campbell Davidson, who has led the office since the firm launched in Australia a decade ago.

Davidson, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, will remain with the firm, according to the firm. (from http://www.law.com)

20 November – Clyde & Co (Bangkok, Thailand)

Clyde & Co will soon be launching a new office in Bangkok, Thailand, having hired partner Ian Johnston and legal director Sorawat Wongkaweepairot from the shuttered Thai office of Kennedys.

The Thai office, which will open subject to regulatory approval, will focus on providing insurance advice to local and international insurers and reinsurers, and litigation and arbitration services, according to the firm’s statement. (from http://www.law.com)

16 November – Selvam (Singapore, Singapore)

Selvam, Duane Morris’ Singapore joint law venture firm, has added Jerald Foo as a director in its litigation and dispute resolution group from local firm Oon & Bazul.

A former judicial officer, Foo focuses on commercial litigation, arbitration, and mediation. He joined Oon & Bazul as a partner in September last year along with fellow litigator Priscilla Lua. Both were senior associates at Cavenagh Law, the Singapore law firm of Clifford Chance.

Foo’s areas of practice include cross-border disputes, company law, banking law, equity and trust, joint venture and shareholder disputes, restructuring and insolvency, fraud and asset recovery, international trade, oil and gas, employment and white-collar crime. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

16 November – Tilleke & Gibbins (HCMC, Vietnam)

Thai firm Tilleke & Gibbins has boosted its corporate and commercial advisory capability with the hire of YKVN M&A partner, Tram Ngoc Bich Nguyen, for its Ho Chi Minh City office.

Nguyen, who has spent 16 years at Vietnamese firm YKVN becoming partner in 2019, specializes in advising on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. Qualified in Vietnam, she also advises on real-estate projects as well as data protection laws. (from http://www.law.com)

15 November – Dentsu Group Inc (Tokyo, Japan)

Tokyo-based advertising and public relations giant Dentsu Group has promoted Alison Zoellner to general counsel, effective in January.

The post will give Zoellner responsibility for legal and compliance teams for 900 companies owned by Dentsu, which does business in 145 countries. (from http://www.law.com)

15 November – Fangda Partners (Shanghai & Shenzhen, China)

Aaron Chen, who has returned from Jia Yuan Law Offices, is a Fangda partner in Shanghai. He focuses on IPO, investment, financing, M&A and restructuring in many areas such as automobiles, aviation, electrical appliances, energy and pharmaceuticals.

Chen’s clients included famous companies such as SAIC Motor, Junshi Biosciences, Apptec and Midea Group.

He was a member of the 18th Main Board Issuance Appraisal Committee of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Zou Wen, who had previously spent five years at GEN Law Firm and AnJie & Broad Law Firm after leaving the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court in 2017, has joined Fangda’s Shenzhen office as a partner. She had served the court for more than a decade, specialising in IP and criminal law. (from http://www.law.com)

14 November – Paul Hastings (Hong Kong, China)

Paul Hastings has boosted to its capital markets stead by adding Deacons partner, Peter Cheng, to its Hong Kong office.

Cheng primarily represents issuers and underwriters on Hong Kong initial public offerings (IPO). He also advises corporates on compliance with Hong Kong Listing Rules, as well as on M&A and private equity investments. He has particular experience acting for companies dealing in the TMT sector. (from http://www.law.com)

14 November – Pinsent Masons (Sydney, Australia)

Pinsent Masons has poached an energy and infrastructure team from K&L Gates to join its Sydney office, while Baker McKenzie and HFW have also made hires in the city.

The Pinsent Masons team consists of partner Kirstie Richards and senior associates Luke Salem and Alec Kibblewhite, who will lead the firm’s Australian planning and environment capabilities, the firm announced. (from http://www.law.com)

11 November – Karas (Hong Kong, China)

Karas LLP in association with Mishcon de Reya is growing its contentious and non-contentious private client capabilities, welcoming new Partner Jonathan Mok and his team to its Hong Kong office on 1 December 2022.

One year on from Karas LLP and Mishcon de Reya launching their association, this marks a significant expansion of the firms’ trilingual private client capability, complementing the expertise across Mishcon de Reya’s London and Singapore offices.

Jonathan is an established senior lawyer, known for his work in high-profile family disputes, criminal defence and regulatory compliance practices.

His reputation for promoting his clients’ interests – beyond a sole focus on family matters to include regional and global wealth planning – has been developed both as the sole principal of Jonathan Mok Legal and in his years spent within international law firms. He will be joined by Carmen Cheng as Special Counsel, along with associate Sarah Wong and legal assistant Angela Li. (from http://www.mishcon.com)

10 November – Reed Smith (Singapore, Singapore)

Reed Smith has continued its Asia expansion with the addition of an associate from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Singapore.

Hui Ling Teo, a transportation lawyer who has spent the last seven years at Milbank in Singapore, has left the firm to join Reed Smith as a partner. (from http://www.law.com)

10 November – Saraf and Partners (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm Saraf and Partners has hired litigation and arbitration specialist Sairam Subramanian as a partner in Mumbai from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

Subramanian is experienced in general and commercial disputes, infrastructure and property-related disputes. He joined SAM in 2019 from Khaitan & Co, prior to which he worked at DSK Legal. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

8 November – White & Case (Sydney, Australia)

White & Case has launched a debt finance practice in Australia with the hire of two former London based partners.

Partner duo Mark Wesseldine and David Kirkland will spearhead a new debt finance practice, based in the firm’s Sydney office. (from http://www.law.com)

8 November – Bird & Bird (Hong Kong, China)

International law firm Bird & Bird welcomes back Wilfred Ng as a partner in the Tech & Comms team, based in Hong Kong. He started at the firm on the 1st of November.

Wilfred joins from Tencent’s International Privacy and Data Protection Department where he was Senior Legal Counsel, specialising in data protection and privacy issues. Before this role, he was a technology, media, telecoms and data protection lawyer at Bird & Bird in the Hong Kong office, with a secondment in the London Commercial practice covering a range of commercial regulatory and corporate transactional matters in the TMT space. (from http://www.twobirds.com)

7 November – K&L Gates (Hong Kong, China)

K&L Gates has hired Simmons & Simmons debt capital markets partner Jay Lee in Hong Kong.

Qualified in Hong Kong and the U.S., Lee advises financial institutions and corporations on debt capital markets transactions including RMB bonds, G3 bonds, high-yield bonds, asset-backed securities, medium-term notes, and loan syndications. He also advises on structured debt products and derivatives transactions, as well as mergers and acquisitions. (from http://www.law.com)

3 November – Clyde & Co (Singapore, Singapore)

Clyde & Co has hired projects expert Ton van den Bosch (L) as a partner in Singapore from Addleshaw Goddard, where he was the office managing partner.

van den Bosch joined Addleshaw Goddard as a partner in 2019 from Ince & Co, where he was head of the global terminals and maritime infrastructure practice and energy and projects team in South and Southeast Asia. He was earlier general counsel at International Container Terminal Services and Bluewater Energy Services, and also worked at Allen & Overy.

Specialising in corporate, restructuring and project development, van den Bosch focuses on the energy, offshore, logistics, ports, transportation, infrastructure, agribusiness and terminals industries in frontier and emerging markets in Asia, the Gulf and in Africa.

Clyde & Co has also hired Sumyutha Sivamani as legal director in Singapore from RPC. Sivamani specialises in cyber risk and incident response.  (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

2 November – Makarim & Taira S (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Indonesian law firm ADCO Law has hired Alexandra (Alex) Gerungan as partner and head of its litigation and alternative dispute resolution practice from Makarim & Taira S, where she spent more than 17 years.

She is ADCO’s second partner hire in a little over a month, with the other being corporate lawyer Alta Mahandara, who joined from Wibowo Hadiwijaya & Co in September.

Gerungan has expertise in civil lawsuits, arbitration, employment, debt recovery and restructuring, insurance claims, police and anti-corruption investigations, compliance and internal investigations, and other general corporate and commercial issues. She started her career at Luhut MP Pangaribuan & Partners. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

2 November – White & Case (Sydney, Australia)

White & Case has hired an antitrust partner from Norton Rose Fulbright to its antitrust practice in Sydney.

Belinda Harvey is the firm’s second recent antitrust hire in Sydney, with partner Stefanie Benson joining from Allen & Overy. (from http://www.law.com)

2 November – Shihui Partners (Beijing, China)

Chinese law firm Shihui Partners has hired a team of over 30 intellectual property (IP) practitioners, including patent lawyers, and patent agents and process managers.

One of its new partners is Yue Weining, who joins from King & Wood Mallesons. Yue, who made partner at King & Wood in 2016, has a legal career spanning 15 years specializing in the protection of intellectual property rights with a particular focus on high-tech areas including electronics. He has advised domestic and international technology companies in emerging markets on IP rights protection involving business areas like artificial intelligence, computer software and algorithms to chips and semiconductors. (from http://www.law.com)

1 November – Baker McKenzie (China)

Shih Yann Loo, a senior partner in Baker McKenzie Hong Kong’s intellectual property (IP) group, has been appointed as the firm’s Asia Pacific chair. He succeeds M&A and tax partner Michael Wong, who has returned to practice in Taipei.

As an IP partner qualified in Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.K., Loo’s practice focuses on cross-border litigation enforcement in Hong Kong and China. He has represented clients in some of the largest IP litigation cases across Greater China. These landmark cases include advising a U.S. client on a patent litigation against China’s technology and electronics giant Huawei, and also litigating successfully the first trade secret case in China. (from http://www.law.com)


31 October – Ashurst (Canberra, Australia)

Ashurst has hired a special counsel from Australian firm Clayton Utz to join as a partner in the firm’s digital economy team, as it expands its Canberra office to help Australian Government agencies in digital and data projects.

Mathew Baldwin has advised public and private sector clients on a range of contracting and procurement law issues including cloud services, cyber security and data protection, Ashurst said in a statement. (from http://www.law.com)

31 October – Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Singapore, Singapore)

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has hired a new disputes partner, Paul Tan, for its Singapore office.

Tan, a former partner at Cavenagh Law, which operates in a Formal Law Alliance (FLA) in Singapore with Clifford Chance, will lead the Asia international arbitration practice at Gibson Dunn. (from http://www.law.com)

30 October – Clyde & Co (Sydney, Australia)

Clyde & Co appointed head of insurance Lucinda Lyons as its new Australia managing partner.

Lyons, who joined the firm as a partner in 2016, will take over the role from current incumbent Michael Tooma when his five-year term expires on Nov. 1. (from http://www.law.com)

27 October – Dechert (Hong Kong, China)

Dechert has appointed its next Hong Kong managing partner 10 months after the former office leader left the firm.

Asia head and global co-head of white collar, compliance and investigations at Dechert Maria Sit has been appointed to the role, replacing David Cho who left the firm in January. (from http://www.law.com)

27 October – Nozomi Sogo Attorneys at Law (Tokyo, Japan)

Nozomi Sogo Attorneys At Law has hired the president of European Business Council in Japan as the Tokyo-based firm’s first foreign partner.

Swiss-qualified Michael Mroczek, who previously spent a nearly ten-year stint as the first foreign law partner at Okuno & Partners, specializes in international dispute resolution. He is registered as an EU lawyer with the Warsaw Bar Association. The experienced litigator has also served as a former president of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, and an attorney-at-law at Swiss law firm Stach Rechtsanwälte AG. (from http://www.law.com)

25 October – Yoon & Yang (Seoul, Korea)

South Korea Big Six law firm Yoon & Yang has hired two lawyers and a consultant for its aviation practice, taking its head count in that specialised offering to eight lawyers.

Helen Sohn, a veteran aviation lawyer, has joined Yoon & Yang as senior foreign attorney. She was most recently a partner at the firm’s Big Six rival, Lee & Ko, where she had practiced for almost three decades. (from http://www.law.com)

25 October – Herbert Smith Freehills  (Singapore, Singapore)

Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed global co-heads of its technology, media and telecoms sector, with one of the appointments based in its Singapore office for the first time.

Singapore-based partner Mark Robinson takes up one of the co-head roles alongside London partner Veronica Roberts. (from http://www.law.com)

24 October – IndusLaw (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm IndusLaw has recruited corporate specialist Ashutosh Narang as a partner in Mumbai from Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, which he leaves after a seven-month stint.

Narang, who joined Luthra from a general counsel role at Capital India Finance in March, has more than 16 years of experience. He advises on corporate and commercial matters with focus on banking and finance, fintech, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code and other regulatory advisory work. His clients include funds, banks and other financial entities. Prior to joining Capital India Finance, Narang worked for law firms AZB & Partners and Link Legal. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

19 October – Luthra & Luthra Law Offices (Delhi & Bengaluru, India)

Indian law firm Luthra & Luthra Law Offices has hired two partners, Tamal Mandal in Delhi, and Abhilekh Verma in Bengaluru. They join from the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and from Kochhar & Co, respectively.

Mandal will be joining the firm’s international trade practice, while Verma will be a part of the corporate practice.

These partner hires are Luthra’s first since August, when the firm brought on board corporate lawyer Sarika Raichur and litigator Abhimanyu Kampani as partners in Delhi from Kochhar & Co and Rajiv Mohan Law Offices, respectively. The firm is currently in a rebuilding phase, after losing 21 partners to DSK Legal in July this year.

With more than 13 years of experience, Mandal advises on litigation, arbitration, inter-state disputes, and trade and investment policies and negotiations with a focus on emerging sectors such as climate change, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and data privacy. Before joining DIT in 2020, he worked for the World Trade Organization. Mandal started his career at the erstwhile Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co in 2009.

Meanwhile, Verma has more than 26 years of experience. He joined Kochhar as a partner in 2017 from Khaitan & Co, prior to which he worked at J Sagar Associates, and in an in-house role with telecom major Bharti Airtel. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

19 October – HFW (Hong Kong, China)

UK law firm HFW has added a new partner, disputes expert Kevin Warburton, in its Hong Kong office. Warburton will join HFW from local firm Tanner De Witt.

Warburton is HFW’s first partner hire in Hong Kong since September last year, when disputes lawyer Karen Cheung joined from Li & Partners.

With 15 years of experience, Warburton advises on arbitration, commercial litigation, regulatory investigations and inquiries, and privacy and cyber security. He joined Tanner De Witt in 2020 from Slaughter and May, where he spent about 13 years, leaving as a partner. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

18 October – Zhong Lun Law Firm (Shanghai, China)

Zhong Lun Law Firm has hired Jiang Haoxiong as a partner in its capital markets practice, who was previously a partner at Chen & Co Law Firm and Hui Cheng & Partners.

With 30-plus years of experience in capital markets, Jiang specifically focuses on outbound and inbound public offerings and listings, M&A, private equity investing, and cross-border financing.

He was a member of the 10th and 11th Main Board Issuance Appraisal Committee of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, which “helps corporates to grab opportunities and develop smoothly amid the strengthened capital markets regulatory environment”, according to Zhong Lun.

Jiang has advised on significant transactions, such as the Haid Group listing on the SZSE, the Sinopharm Group listing on the HKEX, Fosun High Technology’s listing on the HKEX via a red-chip structure, and French firm Groupe SEB acquiring Chinese-listed company Supor via an equity transfer agreement, voluntary general offer and private placement. (from http://www.law.asia)

18 October – Grandway Law Offices (Shanghai, China)

Grandway Law Offices welcomed Peng Cheng as partner. Peng was originally from AllBright Law Offices. Peng is a capital markets expert and has extensive experience in corporate restructuring and listing, New Third Board listing, equity investment and financing, and mergers and acquisitions. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

18 October – JunHe (Hong Kong, China)

In Hong Kong SAR, JunHe recently added Philip Kwok as partner. Before joining JunHe, Kwok worked at EY’s Hong Kong member firm, LC lawyers.

Kwok was among the first batch of lawyers to pass the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Examination. Kwok focuses on complex commercial litigation and arbitration, regulatory investigations, cybersecurity and data protection, financial technology compliance, electronic data preservation and retention, as well as disputes and regulatory matters for internet and e-commerce businesses. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

18 October – King & Spalding (Middle East, Singapore & Tokyo)

International law firm King & Spalding said Monday it hired Damien Bailey, the one-time global co-head of telecommunications at Herbert Smith Freehills as a partner to its corporate, finance and investments practice group.

Bailey joins King & Spalding from KPMG Law, where he was a partner. Before joining KPMG, Bailey led the telecom practice at HSF. He also previously led the Asia-Pacific technology, media, telecommunications practice at Simmons & Simmons in Hong Kong.

Bailey, currently based in Sydney, Australia, is expected to divide his time between the firm’s Middle East, Singapore and Tokyo offices, and focuses on data, digital, technology and telecommunications transactions, King & Spalding said in a statement. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

17 October – Thomson Geer (Sydney, Australia)

Australian law firm Thomson Geer has hired a special counsel from top tier corporate firm Clayton Utz to join its construction disputes practice as a partner.

Jack Fan, who joins Thomson Geer’s Sydney office, has experience in complex disputes involving major public infrastructure and has acted on some of the largest public infrastructure projects in New South Wales, including the Sydney Metro Northwest and City and Southwest projects, Parramatta Light Rail, a number of stages of the WestConnex motorway, the NorthConnex motorway, and various rollingstock projects. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

14 October – Han Kun Law Offices (Shanghai, China)

Two former Deloitte Legal partners have joined the Shanghai office of China’s Han Kun Law Offices, following the recent closure of the Big Four accounting firm’s legal arm in Shanghai.

Partners Weiheng Jia and Cody Chen, who were previously partners at Deloitte’s now defunct legal China affiliate Qin Li Law Firm, are corporate lawyers who specialise in multiple practice areas, notably cross-border M&A and corporate regulatory compliance. (from http://www.law.com)

13 October – Penningtons Manches Cooper (Singapore, Singapore)

UK law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper has welcomed back energy lawyer John Zadkovich as a partner in Singapore. Zadkovich had been running an independent energy consultancy in Hong Kong for the past three years.

Penningtons Manches Cooper’s presence in Singapore dates back to 1996, when one of its constituent firms, Thomas Cooper, opened an office in the city-state. Zadkovich marks the firm’s second Singapore partner hire in two years; in February last year, it added corporate lawyer Nick Dingemans from Watson Farley & Williams.

With more than 15 years of experience in energy, trade and finance matters across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, Zadkovich puts particular focus on international arbitration, investigations and public international law. He advises sovereign states, state-owned entities, companies, trading houses, private equity funds, and family offices.

Prior to running his independent consultancy, Zadkovich worked for Vinson & Elkins and McGrigors for close to a decade in total. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

13 October – Gadens (Sydney, Australia)

Australian law firm Gadens has hired Dentons’ Sydney office head, who was also its real estate leader in Australia.

Sally Tuckfield joins the national firm as partner in its real estate and construction group in Sydney, Gadens said in a statement. (from http://www.law.com)

12 October – Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung  (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Indonesia association firm Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung has hired disputes lawyer Prawidha Murti as partner in Jakarta from Oentoeng Suria & Partners, which operates in association with Ashurst.

Murti is the third partner to join Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung this year. In May, the firm hired Abimata Putra and Irfan Ghazali from HHP Law Firm and telecom company Sarana Menara Nusantara, respectively. It also lost two partners to Widyawan & Partners, Linklaters’ Indonesia association firm: Disputes and labour expert Narendra Adiyasa, and corporate lawyer Teguh Arwiko.

With about 20 years’ experience, Murti advises international and domestic clients in sectors such as private wealth, energy, infrastructure, projects and construction, technology, media and telecommunications, finance, mining and resources, and aviation, on litigation, arbitration, regulatory and compliance investigations, and contentious competition and employment matters.

Murti was at Oentoeng Suria for five years. Previously, she worked at law firms Makes & Partners and Lubis Santosa & Maramis. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

11 October – Seyfarth Shaw (Hong Kong, China)

U.S. law firm Seyfarth Shaw has added corporate expert Stefano Beghi as a partner in Hong Kong from Italy’s Gianni & Origoni, where he spent about 19 years.

This is the second partner appointment in Hong Kong this year for Seyfarth, which opened its Hong Kong office in 2017. In January, Seyfarth hired TMT expert Paul Haswell as a partner from Pinsent Masons.

Beghi advises international companies as well as family-owned businesses in Middle East, Asia and Europe on multi-jurisdictional issues, including commercial strategy and commercial transactions.

Prior to joining Gianni & Origoni, Beghi worked at advisory firms Andersen Legal and EY. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

11 October – PDLegal  (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore boutique PDLegal has hired insurance disputes expert Wei Hong Ling as a partner, the firm’s second partner hire in 2022. Ling was most recently a vice-president at insurance company Marsh.

In February this year, PDLegal hired disputes specialist Cathryn Neo as a partner in the firm’s international arbitration and China practices from Ashurst ADTLaw.

With roughly 16 years of experience, Ling advises on insurance claims relating to cyber, professional indemnity, bankers’ blanket bonds, and trade credit. He acts for statutory boards, corporations, engineers, architects, quantity surveyors, project engineers, and contractors in sectors such as earthworks, air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation, pipe works, and fireproofing.

Ling worked for Marsh and JLT (which merged with Marsh in 2020) for nearly six years. Previously, he worked at law firms WongPartnership, Tan Kok Quan Partnership, and Drew & Napier.  (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

10 October – Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Singapore, Singapore)

Morgan Lewis & Bockius has claimed an eight-lawyer team, including three partners, from K&L Gates, providing a significant boost to its global aviation practices in London, Dubai and Singapore.

Parners Sidanth Rajagopal and Manuela Krach will join Morgan Lewis in London along with an associate, while partner James Bradley will be resident in Singapore, the firm said in a statement. (from http://www.law.com)

9 October – Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne, Australia)

Herbert Smith Freehills has hired partner Alice Molan to join its financial services regulatory practice in Melbourne from Walkers in Hong Kong.

Joining the firm on 10 October 2022, Molan will advise clients in the banking, non-bank lending, payments and fintech sectors on Australian and offshore banking regulatory matters alongside partner Charlotte Henry, HSF said. (from http://www.law.com)

7 October – Helmsman (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore and Hong Kong law firm Helmsman has hired Una Khng as director and head of its commercial disputes practice group. Khng was most recently deputy divisional registrar of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), and assistant registrar of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Helmsman, established as a shipping and commodity boutique in 2019, created dedicated practice groups for commercial disputes, employment, and corporate, banking and finance last month. Since then it unveiled the following lawyers as the respective practice heads: Associate director Zhida Chen (commodities), director Lynette Koh (corporate, banking and finance), director Maureen Poh (shipping), and associate director Matthew Teo (employment).

Experienced in dispute resolution, Khng advises on matters related to financial products, banking and investment, joint ventures and shareholders, corporate governance, breaches of trust, contracts, fraud and white-collar crime, misrepresentation. and property. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Khng was at Drew & Napier for nearly six years, leaving in 2013 as an associate director. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

3 October – Linklaters (Hong Kong, China)

Linklaters has hired Richard Woodworth, the co-head of Allen & Overy’s Asia Pacific restructuring practice, just three months after Allen & Overy took two of Linklaters’ capital markets heavy hitters in Hong Kong.

Woodworth joins Linklaters as a partner in the firm’s Asia restructuring and insolvency practice, leaving Allen & Overy with three restructuring partners in its 11 offices in Asia. He advises creditors, borrowers, insolvency practitioners and other stakeholders on all aspects of financial restructurings and formal insolvency proceedings. (from http://www.law.com)

2 October – Reed Smith (Beijing, China)

Reed Smith has brought on its third new partner for Asia in less than two months.

Corporate lawyer and tech specialist Barbara Li has joined Reed Smith in Beijing with two associates. The team joins from PwC, where Li was a partner in the tax and business advisory team at PwC China, focusing on corporate & regulatory matters.  (from http://www.law.com)