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 six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
We hesitate to make big predictions on the China economy, since we don’t employ economists at Kinney and even those folks have a hard time making such predictions with any accuracy recently. However, we do have our own set of data points to go on that are unique in the US biglaw industry in Asia. We have been cautiously optimistic since late October that ’13 looks to be a very good year HK / China.
Our Asia team is in daily contact with partners at top US and UK firms in Asia, especially in HK / China, where our Asia team has made more US associate placements than any other recruiting firm over the past 5 years. In fact, our Evan Jowers has alone made more than 150 US associate placements in Asia in the past five years. All of this activity gives our Asia team the opportunity to have close relationships with most of our firm clients in Asia. Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney have developed friendships or at least close business relations with most of the key US hiring partners in HK / China over the years and this enables them to get on the phone and have in person meetings with such persons on a regular basis.
Since November, we have noticed a much more positive outlook in HK / China from our US partner contacts there. Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney make frequent trips to Hong Kong and other Asia markets and it is not unusual for them to have 8 meetings per day with US partners while on such trips (its a lot of coffees, beers and diet cokes). These conversations usually focus in large part on how busy the partner’s practice has been and expectations in coming months and the following year, as well as the state of the market in general.