Ed. note: 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 seven years. You can reach them by email: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com.

Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans.  If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet!  There is no need for an agenda at all.  Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.

Email asia@kinneyrecruiting.com to set up a meeting with us!

Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog.  Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia.  We  are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings.  These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful.  As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.

Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia.  There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia.  So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!

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Practical Law provides legal know-how that gives lawyers a better starting point. Our team of attorney editors creates and maintains thousands of up-to-date, practical resources that go beyond primary law and traditional legal research to give lawyers the resources needed to practice more efficiently, improve client service, and add more value.

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The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.

How tech savvy are you? Take this Challenge and find out!

(This challenge is brought to you in partnership with our friends at CredSpark.)

Take the Legal Technology Basics challenge here.

In an increasingly competitive global economy, companies continue invest heavily in data analytics as a tool to win business. Whether the interest is to learn more about customers, or how to improve operational performance, data lines the the heart of solving the problem. While other corporate departments dominate the use of data analytical resources, in-house legal departments often go left behind.

At the core of many discovery requests are: (1) email, in a structured data environment; and (2) electronic documents, typically in an unstructured environment. Simply put, structured data requires know-how on how the software manages the data within it, and unstructured data is comprised of loose documents stored nearly anywhere that data can be saved.

Unfortunately, legal departments are often considered to be a cost center within a business and are left battling for budget. Some businesses have had the opportunity to acquire electronically stored information (ESI) tools to use in their discovery of mailboxes, documents and to help preserve data. Using review tools like these in order to maintain market position have added analytic engines (predictive coding) to their platform software while others may even offer to process data for free within the software. To date, however, no tools are readily available on the market solve the root complexity of data discovery, which is information governance with an emphasis on ESI discovery. Despite corporations’ continued efforts to converge upon the outside counsel base, pricing models for ESI services encourage misaligned interests.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Data Congruency: The Quick Fix for Rectifying the Industry’s Continued Disregard for Science”

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Ed. note: 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 seven years. You can reach them by email: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com.

We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).

Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.

There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.

However, most such folks who apply for these positions are not getting interviews, much less offers, even when coming from peer firms. if you are interested in making this switch, and willing to take a year or two (or more) haircut, it will be important to be able to demonstrate an interest in litigation going back years (it’s understandable, for obvious reasons, that one with an eye on returning to HK / China and a preference for litigation over corporate would have in law school chosen corporate up until only a few years ago). It can be difficult to demonstrate such interest, but even the smallest hints, such as moot court competition or applying to a clerkship (but not following through) can help. Some PRC nationals may have had actual litigation experience as PRC attorneys before entering their JD program and that is obviously a big help. Other “switch” candidates have expressed to our Kinney team a desire to make such a switch for a year or more and that can be powerful evidence as well because we certainly will let hiring partners know.

If you want to maximize your chances to get FCPA / White Collar interviews, as a transactional switch candidate, or if you just want to learn more about potentially making such a switch, then we highly recommend that you reach out to our Evan Jowers at evan@kinneyrecruiting.com. Evan has been helping US transactional associates make this switch to FCPA / White Collar in HK / China for some time now. It’s not an easy switch to make, from the standpoint of getting interviews and offers, but it can be done. Evan has been working with a number of FCPA / White Collar hiring partners in Asia for years who count on our Kinney Asia team to staff their teams. He has also become quite familiar with this practice area, due to his interest in attending various FCPA seminars in both Asia and the US and his own white collar practice background during his in-house days.

Top tier firms with FCPA / White Collar junior associate openings in HK / China over the past few years have struggled to find native Chinese litigation junior associate candidates who meet their firms’ high standards of JD academics and firm pedigree. This is why a few of these hiring partners in HK / China are turning to outstanding transactional mid-levels who can demonstrate a long-time interest in litigation and a current interest in specifically FCPA / White Collar. These hiring partners are asking Kinney’s Asia team for such candidates and are counting on us at Kinney to screen a large number of transactional to litigation switch candidates and present a few who are most suited for the group, office and opening. We have been very successful in doing so, as all of our handful of transactional to FCPA switch candidates, those who we have actually submitted to top firms after screening them for our client firms, are getting interviews and we believe most or all will have offers this year.

If you would like more information on this or any other topic re the Asia markets, as always feel free to reach out to us asia@kinneyrecruiting.com, evan@kinneyrecruiting.com or robert@kinneyrecruiting.com.

Ms. JD is hosting their 2nd annual cocktail benefit to raise money for the Global Education Fund. The event will be held on August 21, 2014 at 111 Minna in San Francisco. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to fund the legal educations of four dedicated law students in Uganda who count on our support to continue their studies at Makerere University during the 2014-15 academic year.

The Global Education Fund enable womens in developing countries to pursue legal educations who otherwise would not have access to further education. According to the World Bank, investment in education for girls has one of the highest rates of return to promote development. In Uganda, more than 45% of women over the age of 25 have no schooling at all, and men are more than twice as likely as women to have access to higher education. Together, we can work to end educational inequality. For more information about the program, please visit http://ms-jd.org/programs/global-education-fund/

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Welcome to Mobile, Virtual Practice

If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way.  But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?

Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.

Can you do the same?  The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm.  Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:

  • Reduces malpractice risk
  • Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
  • Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication

Download your free PDF copy of Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design to learn more about best practices for operating a partial or fully virtual practice.

Ed. note: 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 seven years. You can reach them by email: asia@kinneyrecruiting.com.

Please note that Robert Kinney is in New York today and tomorrow and available for meetings. Please reach out at Robert@kinneyrecruiting.com or asia@kinneyrecruiting.com if you would like to meet with him to discuss the Asia or Texas markets.

Later this month, from August 20 to 31 Robert and Evan Jowers will be working from Kinney’s Hong Kong offices and available for meetings.

In September, Evan Jowers will be back in Hong Kong and also in London.  Yuliya Vinokurova will be working from our Hong Kong offices for part of August and  September as well.

The Asia lateral hiring markets remain in fairly good condition.  Things usually slow down dramatically in July and August, due to it being the traditional two week vacation time of year, but things are busier than usual.  Hiring and interviewing  continues to take place, but typically some hirings get put on hold until September at this time of year.

There are M&A openings, especially, at top US firms in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai – such a good selection of spots that you should speak to our Evan Jowers about each firm, particular office and particular hiring partner, before deciding which to target. Those top tier firms with M&A openings in HK / China are being very selective, but those qualified can also be selective in which firms to target – as each opening, while similar on the surface, is completely different with respect to the personality of the particular team, the type of M&A work, the client list, deal sheet, career advancement expectations within that firm, level of responsibility planned for new hire, the precedent for past associates in group to land great in-house or partner track positions in region or lateral back to US, and how established that practice and that hiring partner are in China or in Asia in general.

Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney placed some of these M&A hiring partners at their current firms and just about all of them Robert, Evan and Yuliya have known very well for years.

Targeting these openings without being very well informed about them , without an hour or more discussion with your recruiter / agent about each opportunity – the pluses and minuses of joining each team, working for each hiring partner – is a disservice to yourself and your career.  It’s flying blind sort of speak, and intentionally doing so.

There may be more cap markets openings by October, if the market comes back strong in September, as we expect, after vacation season.  Earlier this year, the IPO market was very hot in Hong Kong but only a handful of top tier US firms were hiring US cap markets associates, and others were not.  That market is spotty now for all but the very top tier US cap markets practices in HK / China – things have been red hot for those groups since late ’13, both with New York and Hong Kong listings, as well as other cap markets work. Outside of that very top tier, there are very solid US cap markets practices in HK / China that are struggling to stay consistently very busy and also getting work without substantial discounts.

Southeast Asia cap markets work outside of Hong Kong (which was pretty hot in ’12 and ’13) has been slower this year but is picking up after a very slow early part of ’14.  Philippines continues to be hot, for example. Another example is India showing signs of perhaps picking up after being down for some years. Openings for this type of work can be in Hong Kong or Singapore.

Things continue to be red hot in FCPA / White Collar but there are only so many of these groups already established on the ground in Hong Kong / China.  Finance hiring for US associates at top tier US firms in Asia is not a frequent occurrence, but it happens here and there, similar to arbitration / disputes (in Singpaore especially) hiring of US associates. Hiring for antitrust US associates has been picking up recently in China, but is still small in number.

As always, feel free to reach out to asia@kinneyrecruiting.com to set up a phone call with the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, Robert Kinney or one of our other Asia team members.

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