Competition at expat law companies in Hong Kong

Published:  30 Mar at 9 AM
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As reported by the Telegraph, The legal market in Hong Kong has become extremely competitive with a great deal of lucrative business arriving from mainland China. Accounting issues with US-listed Chinese firms and anti-bribery efforts have kept attorneys in the ex British colony quite busy.

However, the law sector is no longer controlled by the elite British groups of Linklaters, Slaughter and May, Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. American law firms, including Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, are competing against their UK counterparts and winning a few major deals on the island.

US law firms are also rising up in the ranks of league tables such as the Thomson Reuters Asia Pacific rankings for legal advisers. One British attorney based in Hong Kong explained that there were many US law groups now moving to the island a creating a buzz.

While the old establishment see the incoming competition as a threat, many of the younger attorneys are quite happy as they expect to be poached for higher salaries.

Last week, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, a New York-based law firm, was named the Hong Kong and international law counsel for the Bank of Communications’ $9 billion share placement.

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