Find a Job >


A blog with tips and insights into the practice of law

Hungry for Hong Kong

Q:  Hong Kong is one of a kind. With unparalleled eating and shopping, a large ex-pat community and an insanely generous 16% tax rate it is hard to beat.  But, is relocating to Hong Kong realistic for Australian private practice lawyers?

A:  It depends on the lawyer.  For starters, your PQE matters. Some law firms will not even consider you without at least two years under your belt.  Additionally, for roles that require HK qualification, you cannot be admitted in Hong Kong as an overseas lawyer without a minimum two years post-admission experience.

Similarly, it depends on your legal specialisation.  In general, banking and finance, insolvency and corporate practice groups are doing well. Firms are hopeful this trend will continue throughout the remainder of 2012.  Other practice areas that are expected to do well include dispute resolution and commercial property.

But, don’t pack your bags yet.  Many firms are still hoping to recruit lawyers with Mandarin or Cantonese language skills, HK qualification and experience in China.  If you have any of these credentials, what are you waiting for?  Submit your application today!  For the vast majority, a little preparation will go a long way to help you secure a role.

Do your homework.  Firms will look for a nexus between you and Hong Kong to ensure you’re a long term investment.  An easy way to establish a nexus is to demonstrate that you have a support network in Hong Kong, e.g. relatives or friends who live in HK.

Allow yourself plenty of time.  Remember that you’ll be competing against local lawyers, who do not require visa or relocation expenses.  Realize that you may have to take a few extra steps to secure your ideal role in Hong Kong.