Although thousands of attorneys will work with a recruiter this year, most will spend less time evaluating recruiters than they do researching airfares on the Internet or on Facebook.  A recruiter should play a much larger role in the job-search process than simply relaying information about opportunities, especially when it comes to Asia based assignments.  Unlike the practice of law, the legal-recruiting profession is not regulated and does not require any type of license. Yet using a recruiter involves temporarily entrusting the course of your career to another person. As many recruiters turned their attention to the Asia legal markets after the domestic economic downturn, we thought it timely to suggest the following questions when interviewing a potential recruiter to determine their experience and expertise in the Asia legal markets.  There are many excellent legal recruiters out there, but not all recruiters are created equal and, most importantly, only a handful of recruiters have yet to gain the experience and the knowledge that the Asia legal recruiting field demands.


March 13th, 2016

Posted In: About Us, Asia Jobs, Asia Market Watch, China, Dollars and Yuan, Expat Life, Expat Lifestyle Guide, Hong Kong, Partner Watch, Practicing in Japan, Recent Posts, Recruiter, Recruitment

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Expat Life

 If you want to know how an international assignment is really going, ask your spouse.  It is well known that the success or failure of a stint abroad can depend largely on the contentment of trailing family members.  Below you will find some personal insights gathered from our candidates throughout Asia regarding the practicalities of a move abroad and what helps dependents make the adjustment to a new life.  While no single solution will work for everyone, the following suggestions have worked very well for our candidates overseas.

Learn as much as possible about daily life before you leave.

One of our candidates in Hong Kong highly recommends that, if possible, go on a fact-finding trip before you make the move.  This may be best completed when you are visiting the location for interviews.  You may be fortunate enough to find a home on these initial visits, but even if not, at least you will have an idea of what is available and what you may wish to pack or leave behind.  If you have children, be sure to take lots of pictures to show them and pique their interest.  This can often help with pre-trip nerves in that it will help you and your family know what to expect, what a new home may look like, where they might go to school, or what the shops and surrounding streets look like.   Language lessons can also help, and don't sneer at any offer for cross-cultural training-it can really help.


March 8th, 2016

Posted In: Asia Jobs, China, Expat Life, Expat Lifestyle Guide, Hong Kong, Practicing in Japan, Practicing in the Middle East, Recent Posts, Recruiter, Recruitment

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As the global economy continues to feel the effects of the 2008 recession, it faces both short and long-term challenges. But new and exciting opportunities are being created as the world’s markets walk the road to recovery. Southeast Asia has become an area of growth, attracting many firms and attorneys wishing to expand their portfolios abroad. The legal market in Asia is continuing to grow at record speed, changing the landscape for expatriate lawyers with an increase and broadening of opportunities for associates, partners and firms, a rapid and substantial deal flow.

According to the American Lawyer, Am Law 100 law firms had mild gains in 2012. They reported that gross revenue for Am Law 100 law firms was up 3.4 percent, average revenue per lawyer was up 2.6 percent, and average profits per partner were up 4.2 percent. Notably, this growth was uneven and the more successful firms tended to have a strong international presence, and well as a diverse set of practice areas.

Asia is a strong area of international growth and this extends to the legal sector. The Asian legal market is on pace to double in size by 2017, according to Asia Law Portal. Their analysts project the Asian legal market to grow 6 to 7 percent over the next 8 years, creating a strong incentive for U.S. and U.K. to get on the ground floor for fear of being left out. (more…)

November 15th, 2013

Posted In: Asia Jobs, Asia Market Watch, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Partner Watch, Practicing in Japan, Recent Posts, Recruitment, South Korea

In an attempt to escape stagnating domestic markets, major Japanese law firms have begun a campaign of expansion into nearby markets abroad.  Over the last two years, there has been a marked increase in Japanese overseas investment, and Japan’s biggest law firms are not looking to be left behind.  In the last year alone, all four of Japan’s “Big Four” corporate law firms have opened new offices abroad in locations such as Singapore or Vietnam hoping to attract business from corporations seeking to expand internationally.    (more…)

May 31st, 2013

Posted In: Asia Jobs, Asia Market Watch, Japan, Practicing in Japan, Recent Posts

U.S. President Obama shakes hands with Japanese PM Abe in WashingtonJapan’s government debt could lead to economic opportunities for the U.S.  Japan’s new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, recently met with President Obama for the first time to talk face-to-face about an ambitious program to revive his country’s stalled economy.  Japan’s unfortunate government debt, negative trade balance and other economic concerns may be pushing it towards free-trade negotiations with the United States. American officials have wanted to be able to trade with Japan because of it’s potential to open up it’s isolated yet promising markets and to increase U.S.’s presence in Asia. The Prime Minister’s plan for economic restructuring is undefined but it is already controversial. The Japanese government’s proposals for government stimulus spending have lead the International Monetary Fund to caution that its efforts could be short-lived and aren’t the best way to tame the government’s debt. (more…)

March 5th, 2013

Posted In: Asia Market Watch, Japan, Practicing in Japan, South Korea

The global economy faces a number of short and long-term challenges in Europe and elsewhere.  That said, legal activity remains buoyant in Asia and there are many outstanding opportunities for partners considering a move as firms open new offices, replace departing partners or implement strategic hiring initiatives.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Asian related M&A activity for the first six months of 2012 was nearly the same as last year.  There were record levels of M&A activity in South East Asia and among other things, natural resources deals compensated to some extent for softer activity elsewhere in Asia.


December 18th, 2012

Posted In: Asia Market Watch, China, Hong Kong, Office Openings/ Partner Moves & Promotions, Partner Watch, Practicing in Japan, Practicing in the Middle East, Recruiter, Recruitment

Foreign firms are starting to proactively approach foreign universities seeking attorneys for their China offices. US and UK firms have always been eager to bring over bilingual expats from the US, UK and AUS. Over the last few years, firms have been increasingly focusing on attorneys with exposure in the US, UK or AUS, preferably with a US J.D. or LL.M. as well as international law firm experience. Firms are realizing that strong legal technical skills and a foreigneducation are equally as important as language skills, top local academics and even a book of business. The bar has been set higher, but for those of you who fit this specific skill set, opportunities are plentiful and it’s very important that you make the right decision. It can be difficult in an ever-changing market like China and Japan to make this decision.


November 21st, 2012

Posted In: About Us, Asia Jobs, Asia Market Watch, China, Expat Life, Expat Lifestyle Guide, Hong Kong, India, Middle East Market Watch, Office Openings/ Partner Moves & Promotions, Partner Watch, Practicing in Japan, Recent Posts, Recruiter, Recruitment, Uncategorized

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With top firms having weathered the economic crisis, these firms are now continuing to offer competitive packages in Asia in order to attract and retain top legal talent. Firms remain committed to the Asian markets, investing resources into their foreign offices, hiring or promoting partners, and offering competitive remuneration packages to their strongest attorneys, especially bilingual ones. While ex-pat packages have for the most part remained stable at top firms, especially in more mature legal markets like Tokyo and Hong Kong, overall there has been more variance than ever.


November 8th, 2012

Posted In: Asia Jobs, China, Expat Life, Expat Lifestyle Guide, Practicing in Japan, South Korea

Australian firm Allens Arthur Robinson signed a collaborative agreement with Japanese firm Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu (NO&T), affording each firm the opportunity to expand their presence in the global market.

By making this deal, Allens is seeking an opportunity to provide their Japanese clients “premium level support and assistance,” said Tim Lester, Allens Japan practice had and corporate finance partner. Allens will second lawyers to the NO&T Tokyo office, and NO&T will do likewise to Allens offices. “We already have a lawyer in NO&T offices in Japan, and expect to have some of their lawyers in our Jakarta office and Vietnam or Thailand offices by the end of the year or early 2011,” Lester told ALB. Compared to Allens’ ‘best friend agreement’ with UK firm Slaughter & May, this deal with NO&T is much more cohesive and structures, Lester said.

“For both us, this alliance creates opportunities. NO&T would not have been capturing work flows in some cases, because they did not have capacity outside of Japan in Australia and South East Asia, which we can offer them,” Lester said.

The only Australian firm that has an official office in Japan, however, is Blake Dawson, which opened in April.

October 6th, 2010

Posted In: Deal Watch, Practicing in Japan

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Starting in July 2012, as part of an effort to overhaul its immigration system, Japan will abolish the Alien Registration Act. In its place, the amended Immigration Act will manage the corresponding issues and information of the Alien Registration System for foreigners working in Japan. Though the new law has been passed by the Diet and is scheduled for immediate implementation to be administered by the Ministry of Justice, many applications of its details remain undetermined.

However, there are clear innovations in Japan’s new work-visa system. For example, a new “Residence Card,” which displays fewer details than the current alien registration card, but requires exhibiting details like the name and address of one’s employer, will be introduced. (more…)

June 30th, 2010

Posted In: Expat Life, Practicing in Japan, Regulatory Changes

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