Working in Asia: Davis Polk/Sullivan/Simpson/Skadden/Cleary

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Which is strongest in Asia?

Davis Polk
10
59%
Sullivan
0
No votes
Simpson
0
No votes
Skadden
4
24%
Cleary
3
18%
 
Total votes: 17

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Working in Asia: Davis Polk/Sullivan/Simpson/Skadden/Cleary

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:39 am

I'm from the East Coast, so I want to stay in New York to practice for the first few years. However, for a long time, I have been interested in working in Asia, probably Hong Kong or Singapore. (I have language fluency and spent time growing up there). Which one of these firms has the strongest presence or reputation over there? A lot of people are making lateral moves between these firms, but which one gives the best/most opportunities to relocate to their Asia offices AND be part of a prestigious practice?

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Re: Working in Asia: Davis Polk/Sullivan/Simpson/Skadden/Cleary

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:46 am

What practice area? I'd do DPW for capital markets, STB for M&A.

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Re: Working in Asia: Davis Polk/Sullivan/Simpson/Skadden/Cleary

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:48 am

OP here. I really don't know which practice area I'm interested in, and I feel that most people who just finished OCI (like me) don't know that either. Also, even if I did know the practice, which one would be better in the long run in Asia?

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Re: Working in Asia: Davis Polk/Sullivan/Simpson/Skadden/Cleary

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:44 am

I know DPW is huge.

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Re: Working in Asia: Davis Polk/Sullivan/Simpson/Skadden/Cleary

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:16 am

OP: Are you talking inbound or outbound work? If you are talking inbound work flow (ie. deals involving acquisitions of American companies, IPOs on NYSE, capital markets work for bookrunners involved with Asian companies in US markets, white collar defense, antitrust, reverse M&A lit, other regulation-related stuff) then any of them can be great and to do the work you can practice on American soil. I would look at the practice area you are most interested in/ the firm you like and go with it. If you are particularly interested in Singapore, this might be a good way to go because I don't think Singapore covers more inbound than outbound work with China (I am assuming your language is Mandarin, but if it is Cantonese or another Asian language, this advice may not apply).

If we are talking outbound work (ie. work for American MNEs overseas), then understand that the only one on your list that has strong name recognition/reputation in China (I don't know about Singapore) is Skadden for M&A. However, they aren't really considered the best shops in Asia.

If you still have time and really are interested in finding the best firms to work at, I would consider Allen & Overy, Freshfields, or Linklatters. The British firms absolutely dominate a lot of Asian practices. If you are looking American, look at Baker McKenzie. They far and away have the best non-niche practice in Asia of American firms.

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Re: Working in Asia: Davis Polk/Sullivan/Simpson/Skadden/Cleary

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:If you still have time and really are interested in finding the best firms to work at, I would consider Allen & Overy, Freshfields, or Linklatters. The British firms absolutely dominate a lot of Asian practices. If you are looking American, look at Baker McKenzie. They far and away have the best non-niche practice in Asia of American firms.


I'm not going to get into a pissing contest with you about firms, but this is awful advice. The OP said they wanted to stay in NY for the first few years, the british firms aren't even remotely comparable in NY to any of the firms the OP listed. Given what OP said he/she might consider lateraling to one of the magic circle firms later on, but it makes no sense to start at those places in NYC with the hopes of moving internally since some of those firms are like franchises and the offices aren't even really all that connected like they are at the places OP mentioned.

OP there is a lot of misinformation on this site from people who have never stepped foot inside a law firm in Asia. Your best best is to go check out the M&A and Capital Market league tables for asia ex-japan to get an idea for which offices are doing the most work in terms of deal size and volume. If you're just interested in Asia, and don't have any particular niche practice in mind already, then M&A and Capital Markets are probably your safest bet to stay marketable, but there are other options as well.

I spent last summer splitting between the NY office and an Asian office of one of the firms you listed. Things for you to consider: reputation with natives or even LLMs might not really give you a good idea of which firm offers the best expat package or exit options, especially the expat packages since nobody is going to discuss that with locals. For instance, Baker & McKenzie might be really well known among local lawyers because they do tons of volume on smaller deals, but the people that really matter (ie people who will hire you to work for a US bank and give you an expat package or other US firms) may have different opinions, so I would suggest you ignore any advice from locals about which firm you should be thinking about unless your goal is to end up as a copy-editor at a local firm or something like that. Also you should know that some of the markets in Asia are relatively small and dominated by just a few major players. So the difference between firms is more pronounced than what you might find in NYC where most of the top corporate firms will offer good training opportunities. What I mean to say is even though they might be ranked similarly in vault one firm might absolutely be crushing it in Asia while another firm's office might just get piecemeal work here and there that they need associates to put hours into but wouldn't really make for great training opportunities for you. The best place I've found to check for this, in addition to the league tables, is the website chambers & partners which gives you a idea (and only an idea, don't read too much into them) of where the firm offices rank in their respective asian markets.

jjcheng
Posts: 31
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Re: Working in Asia: Davis Polk/Sullivan/Simpson/Skadden/Cleary

Postby jjcheng » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:48 am

bump, would like to hear more on this topic.




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