Singapore Hours/QoL

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Singapore Hours/QoL

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:18 pm

I searched this forum but couldn't find any information on this and was hoping somebody might have some insight!

Significant other is being transferred to Singapore. I work Biglaw in the M&A/natural resources sector in Houston/Denver/Seattle (it's a small community). My firm doesn't have an office in Singapore but I've spoken to a few recruiters out there about this. Any sense of the hours/quality of life? I certainly don't have much quality of life in my current job (70+ hours per week) but wondering if it will be the same in Singapore.

Thanks.

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Re: Singapore Hours/QoL

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:28 am

This is a tough one.

From what I have heard, the hours over there are brutal. It does appear to be significantly worse than working in BigLaw in, say, NYC. There's also a strong "facetime" culture in Asia, and Singapore is no exception to that rule.

For QOL, generally speaking Singapore is pretty good. Food is cheap (if you don't go to restaurants), public transportation is good, and housing is relatively affordable (though this depends on where you choose to live in). That said, it doesn't really have a strong bar/nightclub scene so if you are looking to party, sorry man haha. It also has a pretty atrocious cultural scene, since museums and what not aren't comparable to that in the US.

Finally, you might want to look into the compensation over there - only a few firms pay BigLaw level salaries (e.g. Latham), and most other firms pay below that threshold. There might be a relocation bonus though, and taxes over there are quite low (<21% if I am remembering this right).

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Re: Singapore Hours/QoL

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:28 pm

I have also heard that hours are particularly brutal in Singapore. Similar to Hong Kong but possibly worse.

Can’t speak to the other issues, although in terms of compensation the vast majority of the western lawyers in Singapore are English-trained solicitors, who are generally on a different scale.

deference

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Re: Singapore Hours/QoL

Postby deference » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:00 pm

And it's hot year round, tropical forest hot.

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Re: Singapore Hours/QoL

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:33 am

I worked in Singapore recently as a US biglaw corporate lawyer. I found the hours to be fine most of the time. I’d say at least 50% of the time it was a 9-7 job. The rest of the time I was home by 11 pm, except for an all-nighter a couple times a year.

There was very little face time expectation in the office, but there was some travel to surrounding countries for meetings.

I did notice however that your hours will depend a lot on who you work with within the firm and which countries your transactions are coming from. Many people had worse experiences, particularly if they had clients from India or China, who seemed to call them at all hours.

All that said, it was the chillest city I worked in as a biglaw lawyer. And the tax situation is fantastic, even for Americans.

notinbiglaw

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Re: Singapore Hours/QoL

Postby notinbiglaw » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:15 am

Don’t know Singapore but Expats on assignment in HK tend to work far fewer hours and get paid more than locals. I suspect it’s same situation in Singapore.

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Yugihoe

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Re: Singapore Hours/QoL

Postby Yugihoe » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:11 am

I believe there's a pretty extensive thread on TLS about biglaw Asia that covers Singapore, but my recollection was that the hours were particularly bad and worse than NYC. Believe comparatively of the major legal markets for US lawyers from an hours perspective, UK was the best. Although seems HK was pretty great in terms of the tax situation (but offset by the shitty housing situation there though). I'll see if I can find it and link it. Also, I believe the COLA for Signapore is pretty low in comparison.

ETA:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=263521&p=10362764&hilit=singapore+biglaw#p10362764

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=281143&p=10133751&hilit=singapore+biglaw#p10133751

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=250754&p=8714010&hilit=singapore+biglaw#p8714010



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