The Lawyer

Welcome to the Asian century ​— in-depth guide to the Asia Pacific legal scene

By Yun Kriegler

Long gone are the days when an international firm could claim to have an Asia practice by simply planting a flag in Hong Kong or Tokyo. So much has changed in the region since Slaughter and May spearheaded UK firms’ expansion into Hong Kong in 1974, Japan first opened its door to foreign firms in 1987 and China granted the licences to the first 12 international firms for representative offices in 1992.

A series of recent mergers, new entrants and market liberalisation in Asia Pacific, along with the impact of the global crisis, has changed the pecking order and work portfolio of law firms in the region. Baker & McKenzie, for example, has been in the region for 50 years since it expanded into Asia in 1963 by launching offices in Manila and Tokyo. It now has 14 offices across Asia Pacific, the largest footprint in the region among international firms. The firm used to be the region’s largest international player by lawyer headcount, but has been recently surpassed by the newly merged Herbert Smith Freehills…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the The Lawyer briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from The Lawyer

View more briefings from The Lawyer

Browse This Firm’s


Wells Point
79 Wells Street


View all jobs from this firm