legal jobs

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  1. #1
    gkh
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    legal jobs

    Hi, a dreadful climate to be looking for employment now, but just wondering how is the legal (corporate / cap markets) market currently? Recruiters arent too hopeful. Are international and/or local firms still hiring?


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkh
    Are international and/or local firms still hiring?
    Not at all. There may be some positions opening up for experienced mid-level to senior restructuring associates, but that hasn't picked up yet like many expected.
    Last edited by hello_there; 26-01-2009 at 06:51 PM.

  3. #3

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    Not especially. You can scour the legal sections of Jobs DB and Classified Post daily, get on various HH's mailing lists, and look at the pages of various firms, e.g. Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Paul Weiss, Deacons, Vivien Chan, etc.


  4. #4
    gkh
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    Thanks Hukuto, much appreciated. Have been looking at the firms' websites. Will it be too controversial to ask which are the leading local firms in HK?


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    Quote Originally Posted by hello_there
    Not at all. There may be some positions opening up for experienced mid-level to senior restructuring associates, but that hasn't picked up yet like many expected.
    That's absolutely correct, and I'm glad that I'm not the only one who realised that the whole "restructuring / insolvency boom" just ain't happening and probably never will, at least not to the degree that people are expecting.

    So OP, are you "strictly" corporate or can you cross over to areas like regulation? The two areas are most of the time intertwined so may warrant some investigation. I know some firms are still hiring regulation associates.

    Not familiar with local firms, but note that "local" firms here aren't necessarily local per se - Deacons and DLA for example are often regarded as "local" firms here, not to mention a whole bunch of smaller gweilo firms.
    Last edited by ScotchDrinker; 27-01-2009 at 03:20 PM.

  6. #6
    gkh
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    Great to know. Definitely keen to explore that route. Corporate, compliance, regulatory...am not sure how different jurisdictions classify the scope sometimes...


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    Quote Originally Posted by gkh
    Great to know. Definitely keen to explore that route. Corporate, compliance, regulatory...am not sure how different jurisdictions classify the scope sometimes...
    In HK, a corporate/regulatory lawyer would be one that is familiar with (this list is not all inclusive) the Securities and Futures Ordinance, certain aspects of the Companies Ordinance and other laws and the rules and workings of the SFC, HKEx, etc. Regulatory law is a natural area for corporate lawyers to explore when slow, but you'll likely have to be HK qualified and experienced to be competitive in this market. Firms aren't spending $ on hiring and then training associates at the moment (also aren't spending $ on headhunters to fill junior/ mid-level positions, which may be why HHs are unhelpful). If there is a hiring need, firms are being really careful to bring in someone that can hit the ground running. Not trying to be cynical or unhelpful, but if you do find open positions, be sure to tailor your experience as closely as possible to the position...do things like re-order your resume and deal sheet to emphasize certain areas of experience, etc.

    Regarding "leading" local firms - it REALLY depends on the precise area of law you're talking about. Unlike international shops, a "leading" local firm tends to be much smaller and have one or two partners who are really good at what they do, which makes them a "leader" in that area. In capital markets, the local leaders would be firms that straddle that line between being a local and international firm - Deacons and the like. Smaller local firms just don't do much of that sort of work.
    Last edited by hello_there; 27-01-2009 at 11:31 PM.

  8. #8
    gkh
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    Thanks again. Much appreciated.

    Lets say capital markets area, which are the bigger / leading "local" firms?


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    I don't think your timing would be too great at the moment unless you are a restructuring/insolvency lawyer (I have a friend who is a recruiter who actually asked me if I know anyone who practises in this area).

    I think one UK "Magic Circle" who recently retrenched some lawyers in the commercial department. I had never previously ever heard of lawyers ever being retrenched.


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkh
    Thanks again. Much appreciated.

    Lets say capital markets area, which are the bigger / leading "local" firms?
    If you're talking about public equity/ debt offerings, the international firms pretty much own this area of law (which at present is completely quiet and associates are being shifted to other practices where possible). In all honesty right now, someone with only say IPO experience doesn't have a chance. Another quick thing to think about - we don't know anything about your experience and you seem pretty keen on a "local" firm. If you aren't HK or maybe England and Wales qualified you will have a hard time getting a local firm to look at you. Cantonese is also a much more important skill if you work at a local shop - even if docs are drafted in English, a lot of discussioins go on in Canto. Also, if you have less than two full years experience and are qualified outside of HK, it is difficult for a "local" firm that does not practice the law of that jurisdiction to hire you because the HK Law Society requires that they put a professional supervision plan in place. Most "local" firms cannot comply with this requirement for US, Aus and other lawyers.

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