We are pleased to share this compensation report to provide guidance to our partner and associate candidates. We have gathered information with the help of our law firms clients and candidates and from our in-depth knowledge of the market. Please note that this report isn't all inclusive as we represent mostly Am Law 100 international firms and top local firms in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Mainland China and Singapore.
Premier law firms are offering increasingly competitive packages in order to attract and retain top legal talent throughout the Asia market. Hiring conditions across Asia are showing steady and noticable signs of improvement with new openings in litigation, dispute resolution, project finance, fund formation, capital markets and M&A.
Interestingly, the Hong Kong market for the last twelve months has been experiencing the continued tussle for HK qualified and US, UK and AUS qualified associates and a few American firms continue to pay their Hong Kong and UK and AUS qualified associates at New York-scale salaries starting at $160,000 for first years. However, it is important to note that not all of their competitors in Hong Kong have followed suit and some are waiting to see how these salary changes develop.
The Hong Kong and Beijing offices of US NLJ 350 firms also saw large increases in their lawyer headcounts this year. Beijing firms experienced an 15% gain and Hong Kong firms experienced a 12% gain.
William Wesley March 7th, 2016
While Asia’s markets continue to cool, the economies are still growing at a faster pace than the vast majority of other regions and we witnessed more partner moves in 2015 than in the past five years.
Representative Partner Moves—October 2015
Jennifer van Dale, Employment, moved from Gall Solicitors to Eversheds, Hong Kong.
Jini Lee, Debt Capital Markets, moved from Linklaters to Ashurst, Hong Kong.
Michael Withington, Disputes, moved from Gall Solicitors to Howse Williams Bowers, Hong Kong.
Yilong Du, Equity Capital Markets and M&A, moved from Goldman Sachs (Executive Director and Counsel) to Latham & Watkins, Hong Kong.
Pattie Walsh, Employment, moved from DLA Piper, London to Bird & Bird, Hong Kong and London.
Samantha Thompson, Corporate Finance and M&A, moved from Linklaters, Hong Kong to PricewaterhouseCoopers, London and Hong Kong.
Thomas A. Jones January 10th, 2016
Representative Partner Moves—July 2015
Giovanni Marino, M&A, FDI, moves from DLA Piper to Winston & Strawn, Hong Kong.
Jolson Ellwood-Russell, Finance, moves from DLA Piper to Simmons & Simmons, Hong Kong.
Christoper Morley, Anita Chow and Eric Seto, Litigation, move from Haldanes to Morley Chow Seto, Hong Kong.
Jeffrey Chen, Finance, moves from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft to Dentons, Hong Kong.
Patricia Tan Openshaw, M&A, moves from Paul Hastings to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Hong Kong.
Nigel Pridmore, Finance, moves from Linklaters to Ashurst, Hong Kong. (more…)
Thomas A. Jones October 15th, 2015
Representative Partner Moves—April 2015
Hong Kong & Shanghai
David Ludwick, Capital Markets, moved from Linklaters to Freshfields Brockhaus Deringer, Hong Kong.
Stephanie Tang, M&A, moved from Kirkland & Ellis to Shearman & Sterling, Hong Kong.
Alan Freiman, Real Estate, Glenn Haley and Geoffrey Shaw, both Construction, Dispute Resolution, all moved from Haley & Co to Berwin Leighton Paisner, Hong Kong.
Tim Gardner, Private Equity, moved from Latham & Watkins to Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Hong Kong.
Scott Peterman, Private Equity, moved from Sidley Austin to Jones Day, Hong Kong.
Kyungseok Kim, Corporate, Private Equity, moved from Linklaters to White & Case, Hong Kong.
Anna Elshafei, Corporate, moved from Hogan Lovells to Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, Shanghai.
Thomas A. Jones July 15th, 2015
Representative Partner Moves—January 2015
Vincent Sum, Structured Finance, moved from Bingham McCutcheon to Mayer Brown JSM, Hong Kong.
Ed Sheremeta, Real Estate, moved from DLA Piper to Ropes & Gray, Hong Kong.
Michael Liu, one of the most experienced Corporate Transactional attorneys in Hong Kong and his team of Jane Ng and Stephen Chan, along with several Counsel members move from Latham & Watkins to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Hong Kong.
Sarah Catchpole, Aviation, moved from Norton White, Sydney to Kennedys, Hong Kong.
Thomas A. Jones April 4th, 2015
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…)
Jacob Hansen November 15th, 2013
Allen & Gledhill has advised DBS Bank Ltd as the arranger, Deutsche Bank AG Hong Kong Branch as the issuing and paying agent and the Central Moneymarkets Unit lodging and paying agent, Deutsche Bank AG Singapore Branch as the Singapore paying agent, and DB Trustees (Hong Kong) Ltd as the notes trustee and the security trustee, in respect of the establishment of a S$300 million (US$234.78m) multicurrency medium term note program by HanKore Environment Tech Group Ltd. HanKore issued S$50 million (US$39.13m) fixed rate notes due 2015 on 1 August 2013 under the program. DBS was the dealer of the notes. Partners Margaret Chin, Ong Kangxin, Daselin Ang, and Sunit Chhabra led the transaction. (more…)
Jacob Hansen August 26th, 2013
Allen & Gledhill has advised The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd (HSBC) as sole lead manager and book-runner in respect of Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd’s issuance of S$70 million (US$55.5m) 5.75 percent fixed rate notes due 2018 under its S$400 million (US$317m) multicurrency medium term note program. Partners Yeo Wico and Sunit Chhabra led the transaction. (more…)
Jacob Hansen August 19th, 2013
Baker & McKenzie has also acted as REIT trustee’s counsel for Regal Real Estate Investment Trust (Regal REIT), thru its trustee DB Trustees (Hong Kong) Ltd, in respect of Regal REITs HK$4.5 billion (US$580m) term loan and a HK$300 million (US$38.67m) revolving loan in July 2013, both of which are for a term of approximately 5 years. The new term loan will be used for refinancing the existing term loan facility that will mature on 9 March 2015. The revolving loan will be used for general corporate funding purposes of Regal REIT. Partners Milton Cheng and Andrew Lockhart led the transaction. (more…)
Jacob Hansen August 6th, 2013
Latham & Watkins has represented Baring Private Equity Asia and Nord Anglia Education (NAE) in respect of NAEs acquisition of WCL Group Ltd for an enterprise value of US$222 million and the US$125 million senior secured bridge loan used to partially fund the acquisition. The firm also represented NAE in its US$165 million senior secured note offering used to refinance the bridge loan. The note offering was completed on 3 July 2013. Partners Bryant Edwards and Tim Gardner led the transaction. (more…)
Jacob Hansen July 29th, 2013