Asia Chronicles

The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting.
Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com.


Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney 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: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com

The US associate lateral hiring market in Asia for US and UK firms is in a severe down cycle, at least when compared to recent boom hiring periods (mid ’06 – mid ’08; mid ’10 to mid ’11). The bulk of the US associate hiring in Asia since ’05 at top firms has been in cap markets, especially in HK / China in china focused cap markets. This year lateral hiring in cap markets in HK / China has been extremely slow, for two obvious reasons: a) Many IPOs US cap markets groups have been working on in HK / China are on hold; and b) there was much more than usual lateral hiring in this practice area from late ’10 to mid ’11 (right before the slow down in IPOs). Most top US cap markets groups in HK / China are over staffed at present and a number of US firms have US associate hiring on hold in Asia in all practice groups because of this. With that said, we have recently made a few US cap markets placements in Hong Kong, but this is weak hiring area right now, so weak that some very impressive native Chinese US cap markets associates from top 10 US firms are having a hard time getting interviews, much less offers (and for most of the past 7 years in HK / China, this US associate background has been in very high demand, with such candidates usually having their choice of multiple offers quickly after starting a job search). When the market rebounds, hopefully in ’13, US cap markets associate hiring in Asia will bounce back strong. There are a lot of HK / China related IPOs on hold in and many of those deals will come back to life when the market rebounds, but for now things are very slow in US cap markets in HK / China, with there only being some pockets of cap market strength in Pan Asia (such as Philippines and Indonesia for example).

Coming out of the usual late summer period of hiring partners on holidays and slow interviewing and hiring, we usually get a pop of new openings in September. This year we were not expecting much, considering the market, but we have been pleasantly surprised. It is surely not a strong hiring market at present, but more new openings than to be expected (see below) while the HK / China market is still in a down cycle.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Asia Chronicles: NEW FUND FORMATION, M&A, FCPA, LITIGATION, PROJECT FINANCE, KOREA PRACTICE US ASSOCIATE OPENINGS IN ASIA”

Please note that Chinese Business Lawyers Association is having a seminar on public to private deals on Novmeber 29 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong. As we mentioned in a recent Asia Chronicles post, there is a big pipeline of these type of deals currently at some US firms in HK / China and thus we are seeing a significant increase in the need by our US firm clients in HK / China for lateral hires with such deal experience. Private Equity practices, in particular, are having a lot of this type of of deal flow.

Kinney Recruiting and the Asia Chronicles have always been a big supporter of the Chinese Business Lawyers Association. We are institutional members of the CBLA and over the years have advised, represented and placed in Asia a large number of attorney members of the organization, including former board members. We support the CBLA because it is a great source of information on the Asia biglaw markets for US associates based in the US who are considering or seeking a lateral move or transfer to Asia. The CBLA also has a presence in Hong Kong and conducts informative seminars and other events there for its members, many of whom are former NYC based associates who joined CBLA while in NYC.

Going Private and Going Dark: Considerations for U.S. Publicly Traded Chinese Companies

Dorsey & Whitney LLP and the Chinese Business Lawyers Association cordially invite you to a seminar on key issues that face U.S. publicly traded Chinese companies that are considering going private or going dark. In light of the challenges many U.S. publicly traded Chinese companies face under the current regulatory and market conditions, an increasing number of Chinese companies are considering leaving the U.S. reporting system by going private or going dark. Going private and going dark are complex processes that involve many business, legal and accounting issues. Restructuring those companies after the completion of a going private transaction also involves tax and corporate issues that require careful planning. An expert panel consisting of senior investment bankers, lawyers and accountants with real case experience will discuss the topic with the audience. Please see the details below and register by November 26, 2012 if you would like to attend.

Thursday, November 29
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Registration and Refreshments
3:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Panel Discussion
5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Reception

Panelists
Ted Farris, Partner – Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Catherine X. Pan-Giordano, Partner – Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Weimin Chen, Managing Director/Daniel O’Donnell, Senior Vice President – Houlihan Lokey
James O’Neill, Managing Director of Jin Niu Investment Management Co., Ltd

Moderator
Kenny Kwok, Partner – Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Location
Mandarin Oriental
5 Connaught Road
Central, Hong Kong SAR

Please note that Chinese Business Lawyers Association is having a seminar on public to private deals on Novmeber 29 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong. As we mentioned in a recent Asia Chronicles post, there is a big pipeline of these type of deals currently at some US firms in HK / China and thus we are seeing a significant increase in the need by our US firm clients in HK / China for lateral hires with such deal experience. Private Equity practices, in particular, are having a lot of this type of of deal flow.

Kinney Recruiting and the Asia Chronicles have always been a big supporter of the Chinese Business Lawyers Association. We are institutional members of the CBLA and over the years have advised, represented and placed in Asia a large number of attorney members of the organization, including former board members. We support the CBLA because it is a great source of information on the Asia biglaw markets for US associates based in the US who are considering or seeking a lateral move or transfer to Asia. The CBLA also has a presence in Hong Kong and conducts informative seminars and other events there for its members, many of whom are former NYC based associates who joined CBLA while in NYC.

Going Private and Going Dark: Considerations for U.S. Publicly Traded Chinese Companies

Dorsey & Whitney LLP and the Chinese Business Lawyers Association cordially invite you to a seminar on key issues that face U.S. publicly traded Chinese companies that are considering going private or going dark. In light of the challenges many U.S. publicly traded Chinese companies face under the current regulatory and market conditions, an increasing number of Chinese companies are considering leaving the U.S. reporting system by going private or going dark. Going private and going dark are complex processes that involve many business, legal and accounting issues. Restructuring those companies after the completion of a going private transaction also involves tax and corporate issues that require careful planning. An expert panel consisting of senior investment bankers, lawyers and accountants with real case experience will discuss the topic with the audience. Please see the details below and register by November 26, 2012 if you would like to attend.

Thursday, November 29
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Registration and Refreshments
3:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Panel Discussion
5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Reception

Panelists
Ted Farris, Partner – Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Catherine X. Pan-Giordano, Partner – Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Weimin Chen, Managing Director/Daniel O’Donnell, Senior Vice President – Houlihan Lokey
James O’Neill, Managing Director of Jin Niu Investment Management Co., Ltd

Moderator
Kenny Kwok, Partner – Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Location
Mandarin Oriental
5 Connaught Road
Central, Hong Kong SAR


As our readers and clients know, Kinney Recruiting and the Asia Chronicles have always been a big supporter of the Chinese Business Lawyers Association. We are institutional members of the CBLA and over the years have advised, represented and placed in Asia a large number of attorney members of the organization, including former board members. We support the CBLA because it is a great source of information on the Asia biglaw markets for US associates based in the US who are considering or seeking a lateral move or transfer to Asia.

The CBLA is having a seminar on Wednesday November 14 that deals with U.S. publicly traded Chinese companies going private. This is a very relevant topic in today’s market, as there is currently a large pipeline of such public to private deals at Private Equity downstream practices of U.S. firms in Hong Kong / China. While the deal flow in the HK / China markets at U.S. firms has been significantly down over the past 15 months, Private Equity practices have been relatively busy, with M&A deals as usual, but also recently very busy with public to private deals. In fact, some of our firm clients in Hong Kong are currently seeking US associate lateral hires with such experience.

During Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney’s most recent visit to Hong Kong, for a few weeks in September, they met with a number of US senior partners of top PE transactional practices and in each case the discussion included the significant pipeline of public to private deals (thought to be a two year pipeline). Part of these discussions on public to private deals dealt with the nice career benefits to mid-level PE associates who have the good fortune to work on such complex deals during this time in their careers. Two partners told us that their having these deals to work on as mid-level associates years ago was a significant fortunate break in their career development.

Clearly, this is a new recruiting trend that we dealing with now and are going to continue to be involved in during ’13 and likely ’14 as well.

Here below are the details on the CBLA event on Wednesday at NYU School of Law. Hope you can make it! Please RSVP by November 9.

Going Private and Going Dark: Considerations for U.S. Publicly Traded Chinese Companies

Dorsey & Whitney LLP and the Chinese Business Lawyers Association cordially invite you to a seminar on U.S. publicly traded Chinese companies that have considered going private or going dark. In light of the challenges many U.S. publicly traded Chinese companies face under the current regulatory and market conditions, an increasing number of Chinese companies are considering leaving the U.S. reporting system by going private or going dark. Going private and going dark are complex processes that involve many business, legal and accounting issues. Restructuring those companies after the completion of a going private transaction also involves tax and corporate issues that require careful planning. An expert panel consisting of senior investment bankers, lawyers and accountants with real case experience will discuss the topic with the audience. Please see the details below and register by November 9, 2012 if you would like to attend.

Wednesday, November 14
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Registration and Refreshments
4:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. | Panel Discussion
6:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Reception

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “CBLA EVENT NOVEMBER 14 – GOING PRIVATE AND GOING DARK: CONSIDERATIONS FOR U.S. PUBLICLY TRADED CHINESE COMPANIES”

***UPDATE – PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS OF COURSE BEEN POSTPONED, DUE TO HURRICANE SANDY. WE WILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN THE EVENT WILL BE RESCHEDULED. ALL OUR READERS IN THE NORTHEAST BE SAFE!!***

As Kinney Recruiting has done for years, we are again happy to help out the Chinese Business Lawyers Association with their upcoming career panel event at Columbia Law School.  If you are interested in lateraling to HK / China in the future and have the time to attend the event on Monday, October 29, we can easily recommend it.  The CBLA career panel events over the years have been quite informative to both law students and associates who attend.  Evan Jowers will be participating on the upcoming panel and will also be available in New York most of Oct. 29 ad 30 for meetings with associates interested in moving to Asia.  Feel free to reach out at asia@kinneyrecruiting.com to arrange a meeting with Evan or simply come to the CBLA event and meet with Evan there.

NYC to PRC — Challenges and Opportunities in International Practices

The Chinese Business Lawyers Association, in conjunction with Columbia Law School and the Society for Chinese Law, is presenting “NYC to PRC — Challenges and Opportunities in International Practices” on Monday, October 29. The panelists include partners and counsel from leading law firms in the United States and the PRC, as well as recruiters specifically focused on the China market. The discussion focuses on developing international careers, and particularly career paths relating to China. Topics include how to advance within a firm, how to make a lateral move, how to build a useful network, as well as legal trends and opportunities in China.

Panelists include:
• Xiaowen Qiu, Partner, Sidley Austin
• Alex Hao, Partner, Jun He
• Evan Jowers, Managing Director, Kinney Recruiting
• Efraim Chalamish, Of Counsel, Dorsey & Whitney; Professor, NYU School of Law
• Justin Flowers, Principal, Lateral Link
• Ko-Yung Tung, Senior Counsellor, Morrison & Foerster; Professor, Yale Law School

Moderator:
• Geoffrey Sant, Special Counsel,Dorsey & Whitney; Director,Chinese Business Lawyers Association

Light refreshments will be served.

The reception will commence at 6 PM on Monday, October 29, 2012 in Jerome Greene 102 at Columbia Law School. We look forward to seeing you on October 29, 2012!


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: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com

In the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to lateral to Hong Kong from the US without Mandarin or Korean language skills. However, it has not been impossible by any means, especially in Pan Asia focused corporate practices. In the Investment Management realm, up until a few years ago, English only was just fine for lateral associate candidates in Hong Kong, especially considering most of the documentation is in English in this area anyways. Three plus years ago there were not nearly as many funds groups or funds openings at US firms in Asia as there have been in the past two years. Nowadays, this is a rapidly growing area, although still a small part of the landscape of US biglaw in HK / China. In the past couple of years, we have placed many US associates in fund formation practices in HK / China, but there has usually been a requirement of Mandarin fluency.

We like to point out “English only ok” opportunities in HK / China because they are not the norm and worth mentioning to our readers in this column from time to time.

Currently, we have a brand new “English only is ok” private funds senior associate opening at a top US firm in Hong Kong. The new hire will have 5 to 7 years of experience on the private equity, real estate and / or infrastructure side. This firm is not going to consider candidates who have focused in hedge funds in their career, as that is simply not a fit for their practice in China. Mandarin is not required. Some ties to (or strong career / personal reasons to move to) Asia is of course a requirement, especially considering the high level of responsibility this new hire will have and the fact that they will have a track to career advancement available to them at this firm. The new hire will need to demonstrate that they can and want to be committed to Asia for 3+ years.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Asia Chronicles: SENIOR US ASSOCIATE FUND FORMATION OPENING IN HONG KONG, ENGLISH ONLY OK, AT TOP US FIRM”


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: asia@kinneyrecruiting.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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Asia Chronicles: US Cap Markets Associate Opening (ENGLISH ONLY OK) in Hong Kong, 3rd to 5th Year, at Top US Cap Markets Practice”


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: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com

ASIA MARKETS – HALFTIME REPORT
It’s a beautiful summer here in Hong Kong, with the monsoons (winds) blowing all of the nasty pollution away from city’s skies and upward into southern China. This weather pattern generally means that Hong Kong summer skies will often be a clear robin’s egg blue, even if the heat and humidity make outdoor activity, such as hiking, a rather steamy adventure. Fortunately, many of Hong Kong’s great hikes, such as the hike to Sai Wan beach in the New Territories, end at some body of water where you can cool off in a clean, clear sea under a blue sky.

But, are the skies in the economic universe as clear as those in the meteorological one? The answer is, as always, ‘It Depends’.

INVESTMENT GRADE DEBT
The main pockets of debt capital markets activity involve investment-grade debt offerings.   These are not your high-yield (read: high-risk) offerings of 2007-2008 with 10%+ yields.   In these uncertain times, investors are seeking to find the optimum point between yield and safety.  They want to invest in debt securities which will offer more yield than, say, a treasury bond, but they want to minimize some degree of risk.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Asia Chronicles: ASIA MARKETS – HALFTIME REPORT”

Ed. note: This post is authored by Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney of Kinney Recruiting, sponsor of the Asia Chronicles. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates and partners in Asia than any other firm in the past five years. You can reach them by email: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com

We are working on a number of openings at present in HK / China, Tokyo and Singapore, but one in particular is impressive and urgent enough that we thought we should mention here (something that we rarely do in this column). The position is a Private Equity / M&A focused spot at a top US firm in HK. The ideal candidate will be coming from a top 15 US firm in NYC, other major US markets, or already in HK / China. This top 10 US firm is very selective regarding current firm and JD academics. Mandarin fluency is needed for this role. This is by any measure a top 5 Private Equity practice in Asia and the firm globally is considered on of the best PE practices among all major international law firms. The firm also has offices in mainland China. We have placed a number of lateral US associates at this firm in HK / China over the years and these associates (one of them now a partner) have had very positive experiences there. Further, we have been close for years with a number of partners at this firm in Asia and they are amongst our most favorite hiring partner clients, due mainly to our own high opinions of them and their reputation in the market, including feedback from our many associates placed on their teams over the years.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Asia Chronicles: A+ PE / M&A Opportunity in Hong Kong at Top 10 US Firm – 2nd to 4th Year US Associate (Mandarin Fluency and Top Firm M&A Experience Required)”

Ed. note: This post is authored by Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney of Kinney Recruiting, sponsor of the Asia Chronicles. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates and partners in Asia than any other firm in the past five years. You can reach them by email: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com
We realize that many of our readers do get many cold calls from recruiters looking to break into Asia, some of whom have even had some modest success in the Asia markets placing US associates, perhaps with 1 to 10 to their credit. The cold calls are to be expected, especially if your name happens to be of Asian background and / or your firm website bio lists Mandarin, Japanese or Korean as a language you are fluent in. Expect the calls to only increase, even in what is a reduced lateral hiring market in Asia nowadays. Most of the callers are people who have very little experience in Asia but who will be very good in some cases at taking a tiny bit of information and spinning it into “yarn.”

We admit to bias, but we feel strongly that our Asia team is the best resource you can have for keeping abreast of the constantly changing legal markets in Asia. No other firm we know of has so had so much placement success, with approximately 200 US associate placements in Asia since 2006. Over these years we have learned that each placement represents a story, sometimes a relationship of years. Many job searches are more than a year long, with each helping forge close business relationships and even numerous close friendships with the relevant US hiring partners involved). We spend more time, energy, and resources researching and staying abreast of the market than anyone else. Evan Jowers is the head of our Asia lateral associate team and splits time between Hong Kong and US. Robert Kinney, the founder of Kinney Recruiting, is personally involved and invested in Asia, taking 5+ trips there annually and being involved in Asia recruiting daily. Evan has personally been the lead recruiter on over 100 US associate placements in the past few years and has been involved heavily in each of the hundreds of offers we have handled for associates and partners as a company in Asia. There is no substitute for experience.

Feel free to reach out to us any time to set up a call or meeting with Evan, Robert, or any of our Asia recruiters (several of which, in their own right, have been the lead on dozens of Asia placements). Even if just to discuss the Asia markets and your career in general, we are always glad to hear from people looking at a move to Asia and we always try to do what we can to help with counseling and advice.

At any given time, a recruiter on our Asia team is on the ground in both HK / China and NYC and we are available 24 / 7 by phone, for our law firm, US associate and US partner candidate clients.

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