Hong Kong Shui

There are many obvious cultural differences between East and West that make doing business in the East a challenge for international law firms. Then there are the subtle ones that make things downright irritating.

Take the experience of DLA Piper‘s Asia managing partner Nick Seddon. The firm has prime real estate on the 41st floor of the landmark Bank of China Tower. The offices have spectacular views across the city and over Victoria Harbour.

Every office except Seddon’s, that is. He is stuck in a back corner of the 41st floor, which offers an attractive view of a neighbouring building.

“It’s all Feng Shui,” Seddon told one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes. “Whether you believe in it or not, you’ve got to respect it over here, and the staff believe in it, so if you don’t have it, they won’t come and work here.” Anything to get the edge.

The hack wondered if Simmons & Simmons’ office has also had the Feng Shui treatment, because managing partner Huen Wong wins the prize for best view in Hong Kong. His corner office features floor-to-ceiling glass, with no office walls in near proximity. Sorry, Nick.