Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Evan Jowers, Robert Kinney and Alexis Lamb of Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates and partners in Asia than any other firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com
We have an urgent opening at a top US cap markets practice in Hong Kong, and English only is just fine for this position (which is very rare for top US cap markets’ practices in HK in this year). The hiring partner has a very busy practice in Pan Asia. While there are no asian language requirements, this firm is very selective and the new hire will likely come from a top 15 US firm in US or Asia and have a very solid cap markets oriented deal sheet (all of this firm’s US associate lateral hires in HK over the past few years have come from only top 10 US firms). You will work on deals in China, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, India, and other jurisdictions. It is a true Pan Asia practice and a part of one of the top US cap markets practice groups in Asia. Although early for a 3rd to 5th year to be planning for career advancement, this firm does have a strategy and business case that supports promoting new partners in Asia in the coming years. Your deal sheet at this firm, working for this particular partner, will be very solid so you would have great options in the market in the future, both in and outside of biglaw. As expected, this firm pays top market NYC base, plus top market NYC bonus, pus a very competitive expat / cola allowance that is near the top of the market.
Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney have known the hiring partner for six years, consider him a friend, and meet with him numerous times per year (usually over drinks or dinner). He is a very well respected market leader, is very popular at his firm and considered one of the truly good guys in the market, a great person to work for. His practice is very large and he is very busy, even in this current down US cap markets period in China. We have a ton respect for this guy, especially considering what he has accomplished in the market over the years, mainly through hard work. Clients love him.
It would of course be very helpful to have some connection to Asia when competing for this spot, but even if you don’t have a connection to Hong Kong or Asia, it will be enough to have a solid reason for moving there and committing to Hong Kong and SE Asia for some years. The hiring partner moved out to Asia years ago and did not have any personal connection to the region at the time, so he can relate. The reason for making such a move must be solid though and being able to articulate those reasons and your plans for the future in Asia, both to us initially and then the hiring partner, is going to be key.
Any candidate for this US associate spot in Hong Kong, would also be a good candidate for several openings we have in Singapore.
In this down hiring market at present in HK / China, there are only a handful of US cap markets associate openings and it is extremely rare in such a down market for there to be such an opening where English only is ok, especially at a top US cap markets practice, working for a star partner in the market. This is why we are bringing this opening to light here in this column. It is a down hiring market in Asia to be sure, but we do have many US associate openings in Asia that we would be happy to discuss with you.