International firms reassess position in Asia Pacific

Bird & Bird has just become the latest firm to expand its footprint in the Asia Pacific after signing alliance agreements with two Indonesian firms last week. Yet the appetite for growth across the region slowed in 2013. According to one partner at a firm in the region, it’s a sign of a maturing market.

The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 2014 rankings, published today (30 June), show lawyer headcount at the top international Asia Pac firms grew by 4 per cent between 2012 and 2013. That compares with 12 per cent growth for independent firms.

Eversheds saw the biggest drop off, with lawyer numbers contracting by 23.5 per cent. At the other end of the scale US firm K&L Gates reaped the benefits of its 2012 merger with Middletons, increasing headcount by 423.3 per cent.

Chinese firms dominate the rankings. Taken together the 35 firms in the table were home to 18,000 lawyers at the end of 2013 – more than the total in Hong Kong and Singapore combined.

With an in-depth look at the Australia, India, Japan, and South Korea legal markets, this regional analysis offers all you need to know about the Asia Pacific region.

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