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Firms

Mayer Brown Launches Trade Consultancy in Singapore

By Tom Brennan |

The firm has hired a five-person team from Bryan Cave in order to meet client demand in the areas of trade and customs work in Asia.

Kelvin Chia Opens in Mandalay

By Tom Brennan |

The Singaporean firm is believed to be the first foreign firm to launch a Myanmar office outside of Yangon.

Broad & Bright Opening in Hong Kong, Guangzhou

By Anna Zhang |

The Beijing-based firm is responding to client demands that it have a greater presence in southern China.

Three Asia-Based Partners Exit DLA Piper

By Tom Brennan |

The moves are the latest in a number of departures for the firm in the region.

Myanmar's Moment?

By Tom Brennan |

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

Baker & McKenzie Opens in Brisbane

By Anna Zhang |

The Chicago-based firm launches its third Australian office by recruiting three new partners.

Yulchon Launches in Myanmar

By Tom Brennan |

The firm will advise Korean companies on their investments in the newly opened country.

ZICOlaw Hires New Yangon Head, Ties Up With Laos Firm

By Anna Zhang |

The Kuala Lumpur-based firm has tapped former Baker & McKenzie senior counsel Saw Yu Win to lead its Myanmar team, while also forming an alliance with Vientiane Law Co. Ltd.

Davis Polk's Big Bet in Hong Kong

By Anthony Lin |

The Wall Street firm has assembled a dream team, with an eye on China's rising corporate elite. Is the market ready?

Asia Deal Digest: July 3, 2014

By Anna Zhang |

*HSF, Gilbert + Tobin on Healthscope Ltd.'s $2.4 billion IPO in Australia
*Davis Polk leads Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s $736 million stake purchase in 58.com
*Wong & Partners advises Malaysia's Icon Offshore Bhd. on public offering in Kuala Lumpur

Squire Patton Merges With Boutique Firm in Tokyo

By Tom Brennan |

The combination with Mamiya Law Offices gives Squire Patton a domestic corporate practice in Japan.

Bird & Bird Forms Alliances in Indonesia

By Anna Zhang |

The London-based firm has signed nonexclusive agreements with intellectual property specialist K&K Advocates and corporate boutique Nurjadin Sumono Mulyadi & Partners.

Bangkok, Thailand.

The Unlikely Centerpiece of Hunton's Asia Strategy

By Tom Brennan |

Why Hunton & Williams' biggest Asia office is in Bangkok.

WongPartnership Opens in Myanmar

By Tom Brennan |

The Singaporean firm has relocated an associate and a Myanmar paralegal to a newly launched office in Yangon.

Michael Han

Breaking Away From Brussels

By Anna Zhang |

International law firms have long deployed Brussels veterans to lead their China antitrust practices, on the grounds that the country's 2008 Antimonopoly Law was substantially based on European Union competition law. But lawyers at both international and local firms say China's antitrust enforcement has evolved in a different direction over the past six years, making EU experience less relevant.

Japanese Firm to Open in Silicon Valley

By Tom Brennan |

TMI Associates' planned Palo Alto office will be the first for a Japanese firm in the U.S. technology hub.

Taylor Wessing Allies With Korean Firm

By Anna Zhang |

The Anglo-German firm has entered into an exclusive referral arrangement with 120-lawyer Korean firm DR & AJU International Law Group.

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo delivers a speech in Malang on March 30, 2014.

Lawyers Feeling Chill in Indonesia

By Tom Brennan |

Two years ago, Indonesia was one of the hottest markets in Asia for international law firms. But a drop in demand from China has hit Indonesia's resources sector hard, and the once investment-friendly political environment has shifted in a more nationalist direction. Firms say many foreign investors are holding off for now, waiting to see if things change after a presidential election in July.

Berwin Leighton Paisner Forms Indonesia Alliance

By Tom Brennan |

The U.K. firm has partnered with Mataram Partners, an eight-lawyer outfit that specializes in mining work.

A sign showing the Pilot Free Trade Zone at the Waigaoqiao Bonded Area on September 26, 2013 in Shanghai, China.

Firms Still Unclear on Shanghai FTZ Benefits

By Anna Zhang |

The Chinese government has said foreign and domestic law firms will be able to form joint ventures or mutually second lawyers to each other within the confines of the country's first free trade zone. But many lawyers say such advantages don't outweigh the still-uncertain details or the FTZ's unattractive location in the outer suburbs far from Shanghai's glittering core.

Allen & Overy Opens in Myanmar

By Tom Brennan |

The British Magic Circle firm is the latest international law firm to set up shop in the newly opened country.

Appleby Gets Shanghai Practice License

By Tom Brennan |

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Clayton Utz Closes Hong Kong Office

By Tom Brennan |

The Australian firm said it has decided to focus on its home market. Its four-partner Hong Kong affiliate will carry on as a stand-alone firm.

Zhong Lun, Jun He Discussing Possible Merger

By Anna Zhang |

The two Beijing-based law firms are generally considered to be among China's top three with King & Wood Mallesons. A merger between Zhong Lun Law Firm and Jun He Law Offices would create a combined firm with about 1,300 lawyers.

China's Light Touch on Insider Trading

By Anna Zhang |

In what's believed to be its first enforcement action against a lawyer for insider trading, the China Securities Regulatory Commission fined Jun He Law Offices partner Mi Xingping just $5,000. A number of lawyers in the country say insider trading is not usually viewed as a serious offense in China, with offenders more often hailed as clever than reviled as criminal.

Berwin Leighton Enters Myanmar Alliance

By Tom Brennan |

The firm is partnering with Yangon-based Legal Network Consultants.

Jingtian & Gongcheng Fined Over IPO Due Diligence

By Anna Zhang |

The leading Beijing capital markets law firm says it was fined $50,000 and ordered to disgorge $25,000 in legal fees by China’s securities regulator, which also lifted a four-month ban on IPO applications from the firm.

Harneys Opening in Singapore

By Anna Zhang |

The offshore firm's global banking and finance head is relocating from Hong Kong to head the new office.

The Asian Lawyer All-Star Awards

By Anthony Lin |

On March 5, at a gala dinner held at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong, The Asian Lawyer presented its inaugural All-Star Awards. We sought to do something different, recognizing excellence in advising key industries rather than simply honoring the biggest, highest-profile deals of the year (though we took those into account too). We also said we would be publishing the reasons for the decisions that we made. And so here we do exactly that, category by category.

K&L Gates Hires Sydney Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Former Henry Davis York partner Elizabeth Gray has joined the firm's investment management practice.

Baker & McKenzie Acting for Mt. Gox on Tokyo Bankruptcy

By Anna Zhang |

Tokyo District Court has accepted the troubled bitcoin exchange’s civil rehabilitation application, in which Mt. Gox will be granted protection from creditors while it seeks a buyer.

Howse Williams Bowers Start of Hong Kong Indie Wave?

By Tom Brennan |

The former Reed Smith Richards Butler partners who launched the firm two years ago see opportunity in independence, while so many others have staked their fortunes on tie-ups with large international players. And they say others may follow in their footsteps.

Herbert Smith Freehills Drops Singapore QFLP License

By Anthony Lin |

Singapore's Ministry of Law announced Friday that four other foreign firms renewed their licenses, which allow them to practice Singapore law in exchange for meeting certain local hiring and revenue targets, while one firm was given a one-year conditional extension.

Lawyers in Asia Shocked by U.S. Role in Spying, Not Spying Itself

By Tom Brennan |

Law firms have long taken elaborate precautions, often including leaving the country, to protect against expected surveillance in China. But news that the U.S. National Security Agency, through allies in Australian intelligence, listened in on communications between an American law firm and its client has been met with a mix of surprise and shrugged shoulders.

Allen & Gledhill Opens in Myanmar

By Tom Brennan |

The Singaporean firm is the latest international law firm to open an office in the newly opened economy.

Curtis Mallet-Prevost Opens in Beijing

By Anna Zhang |

The new office, the first in China for the New York firm, will focus on international trade matters.

Japan's Largest Firm Opens in Shanghai

By Tom Brennan |

The new office is the second in China for Nishimura & Asahi, one of Tokyo's Big Four corporate law firms.

Bird & Bird Enters Korea Alliance

By Anna Zhang |

The U.K. firm has signed a nonexclusive agreement with 95-lawyer Hwang Mok Park.

Jones Day to Open in Perth

By Tom Brennan |

The U.S. firm has recruited former Allens partner Stephen McComish to lead the new office, which is expected to open in April.

Singapore Firm Forms Vietnam Joint Venture

By Tom Brennan |

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing has struck a deal with Vietnam's PBC Partners.

Rajah & Tann Merges with Vietnamese Firm

By Tom Brennan |

The Singapore firm is combining with LCT Lawyers, a 25-lawyer firm operating in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang.

British Firms Not Conceding on U.S. Law Work in Asia

By Anna Zhang |

Slaughter and May's recent recruitment in Hong Kong of its first-ever lateral and first-ever U.S. law partner underscores the importance of U.S. law in Asia capital markets in particular. Though top British firms have notably failed to flourish in New York, they are determined to not let U.S. law become their Achilles heel in Hong Kong, where they face stiff competition from actual American firms.

Baker & McKenzie Launches in Myanmar

By Tom Brennan |

Sydney partner Chris Hughes will lead the new Yangon office, the third opened in the country by a U.S. law firm.

Barristers' Chambers Opening in Malaysia

By Anna Zhang |

London's 39 Essex Street will open a new office in the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration later this year.

American Law Firm's Communications Spied On

By Marcia Coyle |

A February 15 New York Times story suggested that Mayer Brown’s communications with a client, the Indonesian government, had been monitored while the firm was assisting the foreign country in trade disputes with the United States. Those revelations may provide new impetus for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit a 2013 decision involving the nation's electronic surveillance law.

Mid-Sized Australian Firms Announce Merger

By Tom Brennan |

Thomsons Lawyers and Herbert Geer are combining to form 310-lawyer Thomson Geer.

Stephenson Harwood to Launch Korea Office

By Tom Brennan |

The U.K. firm has recruited DLA Piper partner Michael Kim to lead its planned office in Seoul.

The Asian Lawyer Announces Awards Finalists

By Anthony Lin |

We are pleased to announce the finalists in nine industry categories for The Asian Lawyer All-Star law firm awards.

Will Firms Head Into Malaysia?

By Tom Brennan |

Malaysia will soon open its legal market to foreign law firms, in the hopes that they can help turn Kuala Lumpur into the leading global center for Islamic finance. But with established global legal and financial hub Singapore virtually right next door, many lawyers wonder if a Malaysia office is really necessary.

deloitte

Deloitte Dabbles in Chinese Legal Practice

By Anna Zhang |

If the Chinese arms of the Big Four accounting firms get suspended from auditing, at least one of them may have something to fall back on. Deloitte quietly opened a Shanghai law firm last year with seven professionals, the most senior of whom are also Deloitte partners.

Singapore Firm Enters Myanmar Alliance

By Anna Zhang |

Colin Ng & Partners has formed an alliance with a Yangon firm led by a former judge of Myanmar's supreme court.

Mori Hamada to Open in Myanmar, Osaka

By Tom Brennan |

The Japanese law firm is following rival Nishimura & Asahi in opening a Yangon office.

Will the Asia Shakeout Ever Come?

By By Anthony Lin |

What's the solution to the overly competitive market for legal services in Asia? Many international law firms in Asia are simply counting on their weaker rivals to eventually give up and go home, leaving a bigger pie for everybody else. But Asian Lawyer editor Anthony Lin says they shouldn't bet on that scenario.

Shanghai Firms Merge

By Anna Zhang |

Boss & Young and JoinWay Law Firm have combined to form a firm with around 200 lawyers and seven offices.

Shanghai

Second City Shanghai

By Anthony Lin |

Despite its reputation as China's New York, Shanghai still doesn't compare as a financial—or legal—center. Not to New York, not to Hong Kong, not even to Beijing. A Shanghai office has become dispensable to some international law firms, and Beijing-based firms increasingly dominate the domestic profession. Could policy shifts, including the unveiling of a new Free Trade Zone, start to help Shanghai live up to its amazing skyline?

The Asia 50

By Tom Brennan |

The Asian Lawyer presents our second annual survey of the Asia Pacific region's largest law firms, both international and domestic.

Clifford Chance Enters Into Indonesian Alliance

By Anna Zhang |

The British firm has signed a deal with newly-launched Jakarta firm Linda Widyati & Partners.

Beyond Beijing

By Anna Zhang |

For international firms, China has generally been a tale of two cities: Beijing and Shanghai. But a number of firms are starting to eye second-tier markets like Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Qingdao.

What Chinese Associates Make

By Anna Zhang |

A buyer's market for legal talent means junior lawyers at leading Chinese firms often make less in a whole year than a New York associate gets as a year-end bonus.

Winston & Strawn to Open in Taipei

By Anna Zhang |

No partners will be resident in the new office, and the firm's Taiwan practice will be run out of Washington, D.C.

Winston & Strawn Adds Partner in Hong Kong

By Tom Brennan |

Former Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe partner Marco Pocci has joined the Chicago-based firm's energy team.

Addleshaw Goddard Hires Hong Kong Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Corporate lawyer Daniel Wan is moving over from Jun He.

protest against the government at Hong Lim Park on February 16, 2013 in Singapore

Will Singapore Immigration Politics Impact Law Firms?

By Anthony Lin |

Foreign lawyers say they are concerned that a populist outcry against further immigration into the island nation may eventually affect the global profession, starting with those firms now applying to renew their Qualifying Foreign Law Practice licenses.

Tilleke & Gibbins Opens Three Southeast Asian Offices

By Tom Brennan |

The Bangkok-based law firm has launched IP-focused offices in Myanmar, Indonesia and Laos.

European 'Best Friends' Firms Plan Shanghai Launch

By Tom Brennan |

Germany's Hengeler Mueller and the Netherlands' De Brauw, part of a referral network that also includes British firm Slaughter and May and Spanish firm Uría Menéndez, will open adjacent offices in Shanghai.