Asian Firms

Singapore
Does Morgan-Stamford Merger Signal New Model for Singapore?

By Anna Zhang |

Fifteen years after the city-state first allowed foreign law firms to partner with local ones, Singapore’s lawyers are still looking for the best way to internationalize their practice. The Morgan Lewis-Stamford merger is just the latest in a long line of, often times, unsuccessful attempts.

Jones Day Launches Same-Sex Marriage Website

By Jennifer Henderson |

The firm has launched a website that provides information on how same-sex relationships are legally recognized in nearly 300 jurisdictions worldwide.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius chairwoman Jami McKeon (left) and Stamford Law Corp. chairwoman Suet-Fern Lee

Singapore
In Unique Deal, Morgan Lewis Merges With Singapore's Stamford Law

By Brian Baxter and Anna Zhang |

Having just absorbed the bulk of Bingham McCutchen, a first-of-its-kind merger now awaits Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, which will announce a union on Monday with Singapore's Stamford Law Corp. The combination will make Morgan Lewis the largest global firm in the city-state and the only one with the capacity to practice local law across a range of practice areas.

Singapore
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing-Linked Company Seeks Singapore IPO

By Anna Zhang |

RHT Holding Ltd., launched by partners of Singaporean firm, is planning to raise capital to fund growth through mergers and acquisitions in the region.

Singapore
Clifford Chances Names New Southeast Asia Corporate Head

By Tom Brennan |

London partner Kathy Honeywood is relocating in May to take the reins from longtime Asia-based partner Simon Clinton.

Singapore, United Kingdom
Kennedys Launches Singapore Joint Law Venture

By Anna Zhang |

The London-based firm will join forces with shipping boutique Legal Solutions to add a local law practice to its city-state office.

Australia, United Kingdom
Pinsent Masons to Launch Australian Offices

By Anna Zhang |

The British firm will extend its construction practice to Sydney and Melbourne to capture work in the country's surging infrastructure sector.

China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, South Korea
Winners Announced for Asia Legal Awards 2015

On Tuesday night, The Asian Lawyer held its second annual Asia Legal Awards, celebrating the region's top law firms. As promised, here's the list of lucky winners.

Australia, New Zealand
DLA Phillips Fox Rebrands to DLA Piper New Zealand

By Tom Brennan |

The firm will remain financially independent but has changed its name to better align with its global 'best friend.'

China, Hong Kong, Sweden
Sweden's Magnusson Enters Hong Kong

By Anna Zhang |

The Stockholm-based firm opened its first Asian office by forming an association with local firm Odebjer Fohlin.

Dacheng founder Peng Xuefeng and Dentons global chair Joseph Andrew at the signing ceremony in Beijing.

China
The Inside Story of Dentons' Combination with Dacheng

By Julie Triedman |

In its boldest move yet, the verein is betting big on the Chinese economy.

China
Lifting the Veil on Dacheng

By Anna Zhang |

China's biggest firm by head count, Dacheng is little known in the West.

Malaysia, United Kingdom
Trowers & Hamlins Makes Move to Enter Malaysia

By Tom Brennan |

London-based Trowers is the first to take advantage of changes in the country’s law that had prohibited foreign firms from operating there. But other firms with a much bigger Southeast Asian presence aren’t rushing in behind them.

Singapore
HSF Now 'Best Friends' With Singapore's Prolegis

By Tom Brennan |

After deciding last year not to renew its license to practice local law, Herbert Smith Freehills has partnered with the three-lawyer firm to give clients access to Singapore legal advice.

Australia
Mills Oakley to Launch in Perth

By Tom Brennan |

The mid-tier Australian firm has recruited a 15-lawyer team to establish a base in Western Australia.

Adrian Tembel

Australia
Which Aussie Law Firms Will Be Next to IPO?

By Tom Brennan |

Single-practice firms and their easy-to-follow business models have enticed Australian investors so far, but there are indications that some generalist corporate firms may want in on the action.

Hogan Lovells Introduces Community Service Mandate to All Employees

By Nell Gluckman |

The firm has put in place a new policy that requires each of its more than 5,000 employees in about 25 countries to devote 25 hours per year to community service. The policy is unique because it does not just apply to lawyers, and it will encompass the international offices.

Japan, Singapore
Ashurst Moving Asia MP to Tokyo from Singapore

By Tom Brennan |

Matthew Bubb and fellow Singapore partner Dominic Gregory are relocating to bolster the firm’s projects and finance practice in Japan.

China
In Asia, One Firm Goes Big as Another Goes Home

By Steven J. Harper |

Fried Frank and Dentons have implemented dramatically different China strategies. Maybe they're both correct.

Australia, United Kingdom
Withers to Enter Formal Law Alliance in Singapore

By Tom Brennan |

The London-based private client boutique is partnering with 70-lawyer KhattarWong.

Singapore
King & Wood Mallesons to Open in Singapore

By Anna Zhang |

The firm announced it plans to launch by early spring, after this week receiving a foreign law practice license from city-state regulators.

Dacheng founder Peng Xuefeng and Dentons global chair Joseph Andrew at a signing ceremony in Beijing

China
Chinese Law Firms Aim to Follow Dentons-Dacheng

By Anna Zhang |

Challenges of integration and restrictive rules discourage some, but others say more global mergers may be in the cards.

China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea
The Asian Lawyer Announces Finalists for Asia Legal Awards 2015

By Nick Ferguson |

We reveal the contenders for our annual awards ahead of a gala dinner in Hong Kong on March 3.

Australia
Australia's Lavan Legal Launches Family Law Practice

By Tom Brennan |

The Perth-based firm has tapped former Paterson & Dowding partner Framy Anne Brown to lead the new group.

India
Pondering India Without Amarchand

By Tom Brennan |

If the media reports are true, the country's biggest and most prominent law firm will split in two as of April 1. So what's that mean for the Indian legal market?

Dacheng founder Peng Xuefeng and Dentons global chair Joseph Andrew at a signing ceremony in Beijing

China
Dentons, Dacheng Seal the Deal for a Union

By Julie Triedman |

Five days after The American Lawyer broke news of the impending combination between Dentons and Asia's largest firm, the union is now official. Chinese regulators gave the expected green light to the landmark deal between China-based Dacheng Law Offices and Dentons early on Monday Beijing time, clearing the way for the signing ceremony.

India
India’s Amarchand to Split Into Two New Firms: Reports

By Tom Brennan |

India’s largest and most prominent law firm is on the verge of a breakup, according to reports in Indian media.

China, Taiwan
China's Yingke Opens in Taipei

By Anna Zhang |

Asia's second largest firm by headcount has launched a 12-lawyer office in Taiwan.

David Greenwald

China, Hong Kong
Fried Frank Chair Discusses Asia Exit

By Chris Johnson |

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson chair David Greenwald says the firm's decision to effectively close its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices and pull out of Asia, as revealed by The American Lawyer on Monday, was a "difficult but necessary decision."

China
Dentons, Dacheng Deal Sets Legal Industry Abuzz

By Julie Triedman |

While law firm leaders and legal observers marvel at the scope and scale of the tie-up between Dentons and China's Dacheng to create the world's largest firm, several also wonder how the two sides will pull off such a massive undertaking, and whether it will ultimately be successful.

China
Dentons and China's Dacheng Poised for Historic Merger

By Julie Triedman |

The world will soon have a new largest law firm. Dentons and leading Chinese firm Dacheng are poised to announce a combination creating a 6,600-lawyer legal giant operating under the Swiss verein structure.

Hong Kong
Fried Frank to Pull Out of Asia

By Chris Johnson |

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson is to effectively close its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices and pull out of Asia, The American Lawyer has learned.

Wangheng Partner founders, from left to right: Victor Zhang, Qiu Zou and Karen Zhong.

China
Top Chinese Firms Face Associate Problem

By Anna Zhang |

Senior associates at China’s leading firms complain of an uncertain partnership track and a lack of training that is prompting some to quit and set up their own firms.

Australia
Former Holding Redlich Partner Forms New Firm

By Tom Brennan |

Stephen Pyman has taken his clients and launched a boutique that will focus on construction matters from Brisbane.

Singapore
Stamford, Zico Strike Outsourcing Deal

By Tom Brennan |

The agreement will allow Singapore-based Stamford Law Corp. to cut costs and free up their lawyers to focus on more high-end matters.

Takata airbag components on view before a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing titled “Examining Takata Airbag Defects and the Vehicle Recall Process.” November 20, 2014.

Japan
Squire Patton Boggs to Lobby for Takata Corp.

By Andrew Ramonas |

The embattled air bag manufacturer has enlisted one of the firm's partners, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, as a special counsel.

India
J. Sagar Associates Opens in Ahmedabad

By Anna Zhang |

The firm launched in the western Indian city with the hire of partner Bijal Chhatrapati.

China
Kennedys and AnJie Partner Up

By Tom Brennan |

The two insurance-focused firms have agreed to service each other’s clients in their respective markets.

China
China's East Associates and Concord & Partners Merge

By Anna Zhang |

The 210-lawyer East & Concord Partners is the latest example of Chinese legal market consolidation.

Japan
Greenberg Traurig Raids Rivals to Launch in Japan

By Tom Brennan |

The U.S. firm has opened its third Asian office in Tokyo by recruiting partners from DLA Piper and White & Case.

China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia
The Asia 50: Growth Spurt

By Anna Zhang |

Our annual survey names the biggest law firms in the Asia-Pacific region. This time, we found more law firms embracing ambitious expansion plans.

South Korea
A Buyers' Bonanza in Seoul

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

An influx of foreign firms in Korea has led to rock-bottom rates for some legal services.

Juan Martinez

Australia
Australia's Last Big Independent Firms Get Squeezed

By Tom Brennan |

In the wake of the Australian law firm merger frenzy of recent years, the few remaining large independents have faced tough competition from the global giants. Now mid-tier firms want a piece of their business, too.

Japan
Big Four No More?

By Tom Brennan |

Japan's upstart TMI Associates has been on a global growth spree. And it isn't done yet.

India
Former AZB & Partners CEO Launches New Firm

By Tom Brennan |

Abhijit Joshi has established Mumbai-based Veritus Legal and fellow former AZB corporate partner Nandish Vyas will join him late next month.

Australia
Withers Arrives in Australia

By Tom Brennan |

The British private wealth firm has formed an alliance with former Baker & McKenzie and Ashurst partners to establish its first-ever presence Down Under.

Singapore
Clifford Chance Transfers Projects Co-Head to Singapore

By Tom Brennan |

Paris partner Nicholas Wong moves to the city-state early next month in response to increasing projects work in the Asia Pacific region.

Morgan Lewis

China, Hong Kong, Japan
Bingham Deal Is Done, But Morgan Lewis' Asia Plans Still Unclear

By Tom Brennan and Anna Zhang |

The Philadelphia-based firm has added lawyers in Beijing and Tokyo and gained a Hong Kong office to boot. The lingering question, however, is what role the region will play in a new firm that’s so heavily focused on U.S. work.

Australia
HWL Ebsworth Acquires Another Adelaide Firm

By Tom Brennan |

After taking over 44-lawyer Kelly & Co. earlier this year, the Melbourne-based firm announces that insurance firm Lawson Smith Lawyers will join its South Australia team next month.

Kenya, India, Australia, United Kingdom, Cayman Islands
From Offshore to Onshore, Law Firm Merger Boom Continues

By Nell Gluckman |

Locke Lord Edwards and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius aren’t the only two firms making merger-type moves. Maine’s Verrill Dana, which became one of the largest 350 firms in the U.S. this summer, is poised to hit the 140-lawyer mark after absorbing Connecticut’s Levett Rockwood. The Am Law Daily examines that deal and others in a globetrotting look at some recent legal tie-ups of note.

Australia
HWL Ebsworth to Enter Northern Territory

By Tom Brennan |

The Melbourne-based firm is taking over 25-lawyer Cridlands MB and adding two new offices in the process.

China
Wangheng Partners Launches in Beijing

By Anna Zhang |

Senior lawyers from elite Chinese law firms Jun He and Fangda strike out on their own.

India
India's TMT Law Acquires Chennai Firm

By Tom Brennan |

The technology boutique firm has bolstered its South Indian presence with the addition of five-lawyer APR Associates.

China, Hong Kong
China's Han Kun Launches in Hong Kong

By Anna Zhang |

The technology and venture capital-focused firm has entered the city through an alliance with local IP specialist Choy, Cheung & Co.

Drew & Napier partner Davinder Singh, who picked up the award for best disputes lawyer in the region

Brunei, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam
The Asian Lawyer Emerging Market Awards

By Nick Ferguson |

Many of Asia's leading legal practitioners gathered at the Fullerton hotel in Singapore on Nov. 19 to join The Asian Lawyer in celebrating the best transactions and recognising the best lawyers in the region as part of our inaugural Emerging Markets Awards. Here's a rundown of the winners and the reasons why they were chosen.

South Korea
Korea's Competitive Legal Market Puts Pressure on Price

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Since free trade agreements opened the country's legal market to foreign firms in 2012, some 20 U.S. and U.K. firms have planted flags in Seoul, putting pressure on legal fees and ramping up competition between foreign and local firms.

China
Report: CNOOC Severs Baker & McKenzie Ties

By MP McQueen |

The Wall Street Journal reports that CNOOC, China's state-owned oil and gas giant, cut its ties to Baker & McKenzie because of alleged conflicts of interest between an in-house lawyer and her husband, the firm's chief representative in Beijing.

South Korea
Milbank to Launch in Korea

By Tom Brennan |

The U.S. firm has submitted an application to the country’s Ministry of Justice to open its 12th global office in Seoul.

India, United Kingdom
Osborne Clarke Strikes Best-Friend Alliance in India

By Tom Brennan |

The U.K. firm is partnering with a newly created Indian outfit launched by Osborne Clarke's former India practice co-head.

Australia, United Kingdom
Clyde & Co Opens in Brisbane

By Anna Zhang |

The shipping firm launched its fourth Australian office with the hire of three partners from Australia's Sparke Helmore.

Supermarket Wellcome’s owner Dairy Farm International Holdings is the main rival of Li Ka-shing’s A.S. Watsons Co. Ltd. The two have a combined 62.5 percent market share in Hong Kong’s supermarket sector.

Hong Kong
New Law Takes Aim at Hong Kong’s Oligopolies

By Anna Zhang |

But the question is whether or not the so-called Competition Ordinance will succeed. Lawyers say it may not introduce significantly more competition into the local economy. In fact, the real winners may be the lawyers themselves.

China
Canadian Firm Borden Ladner Gervais Heads to China

By Wenxiong Zhang |

The firm is looking to capitalize on the growing economic ties between Ottawa and Beijing.

Hong Kong
Protests Prompt Hong Kong Lawyers to Consider Beijing's Mandates

By Tom Brennan |

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent weeks to call for electoral reform, but so far the Chinese government has yet to budge. So what recourse, if any, does the city's legal community have in its own potential disagreements with Beijing?

Australia, United Kingdom
Bird & Bird to Merge With Australia’s Truman Hoyle

By Tom Brennan |

The U.K. firm is establishing a presence Down Under by acquiring the 33-lawyer technology boutique.

Randall Arthur, Kobre & Kim Hong Kong partner

Hong Kong
Do Foreign Firms Need a Hong Kong Law Practice?

By Anna Zhang |

The city’s once-booming capital markets had prompted a big push into local law, but the slowdown that followed has forced at least one firm—Milbank—to reconsider. Still, others see value in the practice, though for different reasons. Here’s why.

China
China's Anjie Opens in Shanghai

By Anna Zhang |

The 100-lawyer antitrust and insurance firm launches its second office with three lateral hires.

Hong Kong
Former Mallesons, Milbank Partners Launch New Hong Kong Firm

By Anna Zhang |

Corporate lawyers Dieter Yih, Larry Kwok and Conrad Chan have joined forced to start a new boutique firm focusing on mergers and acquisitions and capital market deals.

Kazakhstan
Two Am Law 100 Firms Double Down on Overseas Investments

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Baker & McKenzie and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius are setting their sights on some far-flung horizons, setting up new outposts in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Astana, Kazakhstan, respectively.

Hong Kong
Kobre & Kim Adds Hong Kong Law Practice

By Anna Zhang |

The New York-based firm has hired partner Randall Arthur from local litigation boutique Gall.

Brunei, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore
Finalists Announced for The Asian Lawyer's Emerging Markets Awards

By Tom Brennan |

We've chosen a short list in 17 different categories for our inaugural awards recognizing the top matters and lawyers in Southeast Asia and India.

Singapore
Ernst & Young Enters Singapore Legal Market

By Anna Zhang |

The accounting firm has established a legal practice in the city-state through an alliance with local firm PK Wong & Associates.

Vietnam
ZICOlaw Launches in Hanoi

By Tom Brennan |

The Kuala Lumpur-based firm has opened its second Vietnamese office by recruiting former Mayer Brown JSM partner Phuong Nguyen.

China, Hong Kong
Law Firms React to Mass Protests in Hong Kong

By Tom Brennan |

Street demonstrations by tens of thousands of pro-democracy advocates have made commutes difficult and disrupted some office operations.

Hong Kong
Debevoise & Plimpton to Add Hong Kong Law Capability

By Tom Brennan |

After 20 years of advising clients on the New York and English law aspects of their business in Asia, the firm is setting up a local law practice in Hong Kong as well.

The Global Legal Market: By the Numbers

By Drew Combs |

A look at how the Am Law 200's head count in top markets around the world has changed between 1998 and today.

A Year of Slow But Solid Growth for Global 100 Firms

By Chris Johnson |

A surge in dealmaking boosted the top and bottom lines for the world's top-grossing firms, which experienced steady if unspectacular growth in 2013.

China
Broad & Bright Hires in Shanghai, Plans Tokyo, L.A. Launch

By Anna Zhang |

Peter Neumann, former Shanghai managing partner for Miami's Greenberg Traurig, will join the Chinese firm next week.

The Churn

Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico
Akin Loses Two, But Again Raids Bingham, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Bingham McCutchen lost four more partners to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld this week in Hong Kong and London, as the former continues to pursue a potential merger with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. McCarter & English adds eight partners of its own through a merger, Jones Day hires another Latin American dealmaker and more notable moves from throughout The Am Law 200.

Australia
Five Firms on $3.2 Billion Sydney Rapid Transit Deal

By Anna Zhang |

Ashurst advised a consortium consisting of Leighton Group, MTR and UGL Rail on a winning contract to build Australia's first fully automated train system.

Japan
TMI Wants to Make Japan's Big Four a Big Five

By Tom Brennan |

The gap between the country's top firms and the rest of Japan’s legal market has always been seen as unbridgeable. But TMI Associates is determined to challenge that status quo.

China
Stephenson Harwood Shutters Guangzhou Office

By Anna Zhang |

The U.K. firm has also lost its sole resident lawyer in Beijing, and is currently looking for new lawyers to work from the Chinese capital.

business men in London

Hong Kong
Akin Gets Two Hong Kong Partners in Bingham Raid

By Julie Triedman and Brian Baxter |

Corporate partner Charles Rogers and restructuring partner Naomi Moore are moving over as part of Akin's en masse recruitment of most of Bingham's London and Frankfurt offices.

Singapore Law Minister K. Shanmugam spoke of an oversupply of law graduates at the Criminal Justice Conference organized by the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University on Aug. 21.

Singapore
Singapore Law Students to Face Tough Job Market

By Anna Zhang |

The city-state has gone from an undersupply of law graduates to an oversupply. Students are advised to consider other career options, as Law Minister K. Shanmugam warns that there may not be enough training contracts to allow all graduates to qualify.

Sri Lanka
Duane Morris Forms Alliance to Enter Sri Lankan Market

By Gina Passarella |

Duane Morris appears to be the first U.S. law firm to enter the Sri Lankan legal market in some capacity.

Global Legal Awards: Global Citizenship Awards of the Year

In this category, The American Lawyer Global Citizenship Awards honor global matters dedicated to the spirit of pro bono and social responsibility.

India
Amarchand Opens Eighth Office

By Anna Zhang |

The Indian firm launches in Gurgaon with four partners relocating from its New Delhi base.

Brad Butwin.

Singapore
O'Melveny Sees Wave of Departures in Singapore

By Tom Brennan |

Over the past nine months, the Los Angeles-based firm has lost 14 lawyers in its city-state office. Why have so many left, and what does O'Melveny plan to do next?

The Asian Lawyer’s Ready for Relaunch

By Asian Lawyer Staff |

On Monday, Aug. 25, the site will become part of a broader collection of global legal coverage by parent publication The American Lawyer. In the run-up to that launch, The Asian Lawyer site will be on standby.

Dechert

Singapore
Dechert Gets License to Practice in Singapore

By Gina Passarella |

Dechert has officially been granted a license to practice law in Singapore, eight months after the firm applied for permission to practice in the country.

Trading Places

By Tom Brennan |

Some Anglo-American firms have started touting Old Glory over the Union Jack in Asia.

Myanmar
Myanmar's Moment?

By Tom Brennan |

With its rich natural resources and recent political and economic reforms, Myanmar has become one of Asia's "it" destinations for law firms. But will the widely anticipated boom in foreign investment actually follow?

A visitor walks past a design promoting the recently opened China (Shanghai) Pilot Free-Trade Zone in Shanghai.

China
A Long Way From Liberalization

By Anna Zhang |

Despite the hype, law firms are seeing limited upside so far from the new Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

China
Appleby Gets Shanghai Practice License

By Tom Brennan |

The offshore firm opened an office in Shanghai in 2012 but previously only offered fiduciary services.

Australia
HWL Ebsworth Acquires Adelaide Firm

By Tom Brennan |

HWL Ebsworth said the addition of 44-lawyer Kelly & Co would allow it to better serve clients with a presence in South Australia.

China
Alibaba Asks Firms to Pick Sides

By Anna Zhang |

The Chinese e-commerce giant, which is expected to have the world's largest IPO since Facebook Inc. later this year, has let it be known that it won't be hiring any firm for transactional work that also advises its major competitors. Though such demands are not uncommon outside of Asia, not least in the U.S. tech sector, lawyers say firms face a more complicated choice in the super-competitive but still-developing China market.

China, Hong Kong, United Kingdom
Anglo-American Firms Face Identity Choice in Asia

By Tom Brennan |

Should firms like DLA Piper or Hogan Lovells pitch themselves as British or American in Asia? At most firms resulting from transatlantic mergers, the British side brought more to the table in Asia and continues to run the show there. But there are also strong incentives to accentuate their American identities.

China
A Merger Wave on the Horizon for Chinese Firms?

By Anna Zhang |

A potential merger between two of China's top law firms—Jun He Law Offices and Zhong Lun Law Firm—has launched a flurry of speculation in the region about what such a combination would mean, both for the two firms involved and the still-developing Chinese legal profession.

South Korea
Skadden Opens in Seoul

By Tom Brennan |

The firm has relocated partner H. Young Shin, head of the its Korea practice, from New York to lead the new office.