Omicron wave slows Asian legal markets’ recovery

In January, firms and lawyers were full of hope, expecting a lively 2022 fueled by global liquidity, recovery from the pandemic, and growing opportunities in the tech and biotech industries. However, the Omicron surge in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Korea slowed the recovery. Compared to Q1 2021, we witnessed a significant decline inContinue reading “Omicron wave slows Asian legal markets’ recovery”

Tech Unicorns continue to lure big names from Private Practice in Asia

The news that US IPO doyenne Julie Gao was leaving Skadden Arps to join TikTok owner ByteDance as Chief Financial Officer was initially greeted with shock and surprise by the market but, given a brief cooling off period, it seems like the move makes a lot of sense and is indeed part of an increasingContinue reading “Tech Unicorns continue to lure big names from Private Practice in Asia”

Boutiques target International Arbitration in Singapore

There have been a number of eyecatching moves in the Singapore international arbitration market over the past year, with senior partners making moves few would have predicted. At the turn of 2022 it was announced that partner Simon Dunbar and counsel Kevin Lim would be leaving international arbitration titans King & Spalding for diminutive SingaporeContinue reading “Boutiques target International Arbitration in Singapore”

Slowdown in recovery is real, but optimism is ahead

The ripple effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy and legal industry dominated 2021. We were happy to see legal hiring markets across the Asia Pacific rebound strongly in early 2021. However, the emergence of the Delta and Omicron variants saw a slowdown as we neared the end of the year. That being said,Continue reading “Slowdown in recovery is real, but optimism is ahead”

Private Practice Round-up 2021

Welcome to the new year; same as the old year? The news in 2021 was dominated by something that was emerging as a mere curiosity this time two years ago. Those who had lived through the original SARS outbreak were confident (or at least hopeful) that the then-named Coronavirus would be eradicated in the warmerContinue reading “Private Practice Round-up 2021”

Asia In-house Legal Market Outlook 2022

2021 is generally touted as a year of recovery. Although the economic growth for Asia-Pacific remains the fastest moving region in the world[1], there were twists and turns along the way. As the highly transmissible Omicron variant lingers, we expect the Covid-19 crisis to continue to present challenges that shape the business outlook for theContinue reading “Asia In-house Legal Market Outlook 2022”

Now is the right time to consider changing jobs

When the Covid-19 pandemic erupted in the legal industry last year, many professionals felt blessed to retain their jobs even with the challenges of working remotely and coping with additional challenges like childcare, home schooling and health risks. These combined stresses prompted the “Great Resignation” (also known as the “Big Quit”). As a result, highContinue reading “Now is the right time to consider changing jobs”

Despite ongoing Covid-19 issues, legal markets are picking up across Asia Pacific

The Covid-19 challenge has been unprecedented and persists throughout 2021.  However, we are happy to see legal markets across Asia Pacific are picking up so far this year. Compared to 2020, we witnessed growth of recruitment activities in India and Singapore. Both the Australian and Hong Kong legal markets remained relatively stable. After China’s strongContinue reading “Despite ongoing Covid-19 issues, legal markets are picking up across Asia Pacific”

Dentons land where others fear to tread

By Sam Kenworthy It has taken maybe longer than expected but global behemoth Dentons has finally planted a flag in the Vietnam market by forming an association with local firm LuatViet. The Vietnamese firm is not top heavy, with only three partners but over 30 legal professionals in total, but crucially it does have officesContinue reading “Dentons land where others fear to tread”

Legal Move Updates (Oct – Dec 2021)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list. December 2021 17 December – Herbert Smith Freehills (Singapore, Singapore) Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has elected Fatim Jumabhoy as its first-ever Singapore managing partner. Jumabhoy will begin leading the Singapore team effective 1 January. (from http://www.thelawyermag.com) 16 December – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai, India) Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM)Continue reading “Legal Move Updates (Oct – Dec 2021)”

Mishcon de Reya doubles down in Asia with Hong Kong launch

By Sam Kenworthy  Mishcon de Reya has always marched to the beat of its own drum, at least under the stewardship of Executive Chairperson Kevin Gold, who became Managing Partner of the firm almost 25 years ago. Then a respected but sleepy London private client/litigation boutique, the firm has built on those foundations to becomeContinue reading “Mishcon de Reya doubles down in Asia with Hong Kong launch”

Singapore attracts attention from the US, UK and beyond

By Sam Kenworthy As the Singapore legal market continues to observe internal movement, we have also seen new openings over the past 12 months, not surprising in itself as international firms have long jockeyed for position in the Lion City. However, alongside the headline-grabbing moves of US giants Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and McDermott, WillContinue reading “Singapore attracts attention from the US, UK and beyond”

The right time for lawyers to return to the office?

Morgan Stanley’s Chief Legal Officer, Eric Grossman, has demanded their outside law firms return their lawyers to the office en masse. However most law firms who act for Morgan Stanley have already incorporated some remote working into their return plans after the pandemic. The request immediately delivers a real headache for firms trying to placateContinue reading “The right time for lawyers to return to the office?”

Kirkland makes unusual step into Asian Real Estate

Kirkland & Ellis’ hire of Paul Hastings’ Paul Guan is not necessarily a surprise in the context of the Chicago giant’s enduring interest in swelling its private equity ranks, but a foray into real estate remains a rare occurrence in the Asian legal markets. Whereas the nuts-and-bolts conveyancing remains very much the preserve of localContinue reading “Kirkland makes unusual step into Asian Real Estate”

Legal Move Updates (Jul – Sep 2021)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list. September 2021 30 Sep – White & Case (Seoul, Korea) U.S. firm White & Case has strengthened its global project development and finance practice with the hire of Sungjin Kang as a partner in Seoul from Latham & Watkins. Kang, who spent more than a decade with LathamContinue reading “Legal Move Updates (Jul – Sep 2021)”

Legal markets improve, but the shadow of Covid-19 lingers

New and more contagious Covid-19 variants continue to penetrate the world’s major economies, but overall the Asia Pacific legal market continues to grow. We have seen a good level of hiring activity in the first quarter, particularly in January. The massive disruptions of 2020 uncovered both challenges and opportunities for all legal practitioners. It isContinue reading “Legal markets improve, but the shadow of Covid-19 lingers”

Clifford Chance Loses Seoul Glow

Clifford Chance’s decision to close its Seoul office is not necessarily a surprise since the Magic Circle firm had had no resident partner in the city for some time but it may also be indicative of a wider trend of global firms reducing their Asia footprints. Upon liberalisation of the South Korean market in 2012Continue reading “Clifford Chance Loses Seoul Glow”

How to ace your partner interview

Partner recruiting in general is a complex and lengthy process. It can take anywhere from a couple of months to over a year. At the core of the process are the interviews with prospective colleagues and leaders at other firms. In preparing a partner-level interview, you have to be able to present a compelling appraisalContinue reading “How to ace your partner interview”

How your firm can stand out and hire the “right” lawyers in the post-Covid-19 period?

The competition for legal talent remains fierce, even with the pandemic still hampering the economy globally. While approaching the post-pandemic period, law firms, alongside companies across all industries and sectors, in need of new talent will have to hire externally to support their anticipated quick recovery. Therefore, finding the “right” talent is a core driverContinue reading “How your firm can stand out and hire the “right” lawyers in the post-Covid-19 period?”

Legal Move Updates (Apr – Jun 2021)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list. June 2021 30 Jun – McDermott Will & Emery (Singapore, Singapore) McDermott, which is launching an office in Singapore a year after it shuttered its offices in China and two years after closing its operation in South Korea, has added projects partner Merrick White from the Singapore officeContinue reading “Legal Move Updates (Apr – Jun 2021)”