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Hong Kong > Legal market overview
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- Legal market overview
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Compared to previous years, 2013 and 2014 saw Hong Kong’s legal market attain an atmosphere of relative stability. As such, many of the top firms are consolidating their positions, and the relentless lateral partner hires of yesteryear have evidently slowed.
Notwithstanding the stable market conditions, Hong Kong remains one of, if not the most competitive legal market in the world, a market where leading UK and US law firms now go toe-to-toe with each other on an equal footing. In such an environment, precedent-breaking developments occur with regularity. In 2014, Slaughter and May put aside decades of tradition by making a landmark lateral partner hire in the form of John Moore’s recruitment from Morrison & Foerster. Slaughter and May’s move is a tacit acknowledgement of the need for a robust US-law capability, and there are few with Moore’s reputation and connections.
The majority of the top Wall Street and US law firms localised some years ago by establishing Hong Kong law teams, often at a considerable cost in terms of remuneration packages. In doing so, some US firms propelled themselves to market leader status. One example is Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, which is now considered an elite firm in M&A, capital markets (both debt and equity) and dispute resolution.
As Asia’s primary financial and legal market, Hong Kong will provide a testing battleground for international firms to assert their international statuses. Whether London’s Magic Circle can continue to dominate the market in the face of such heated competition from their American counterparts remains to be seen. However, it should be made clear that US and UK firms tend to operate vastly differing business models. UK firms have clung to the full-service and large-capacity model, while US firms have on the whole focused primarily on large transactions and high-stakes dispute resolution.
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VEGAS LEX is expanding cooperation with Russian book-publishing businesses. Its new client is a major and greatly respected publisher of educational material, Prosveshcheniye.
On April 27, 2015, VEGAS LEX was recognized in two new categories of Chambers Europe 2015, and a number of VL professionals were recognized on the world level.
On May 12-15, 2015, the Public-Private Partnership Development Institute organized a professional development program for Rostelecom staff on PPP projects. VEGAS LEX experts were invited to speak at training sessions.
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On Thursday, 26 March 2015, the French Competition Authority made a ruling (15-D-04) in a case involving an agreement between millers on a double concerted increase in the price of flour sold in bakeries in 2007. Of the twenty companies implicated at the end of the investigation, only three were ultimately penalised. CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre represented the interests of Moulin de Sauret.- CMS
Igor Chumachenko,VEGAS LEX Partner and Head of the Real Estate, Land & Construction Practice, has spoken at a conference during the REX forum that focused on the legal and economic risks for developers.
Zavadetskyi Advocates represented the Ukrainian subsidiary of AXA Insurance in criminal investigations of USD 9 million and USD 1.2 million damage events with the insured assets in the war zone in Eastern Ukraine. Within the investigation procedures advocates of the bureau proved that the events are to be qualified as excluded from the insurance coverage. Following the investigations Zavadetskyi Advocates proceeded with representing the client in the ensuing commercial litigation.
The participants of the Korporativny Yurist magazine’s webinar discussed the structure of contractual relationships and dispute resolution practices in construction with VEGAS LEX expert Nikolay Andrianov.
SK Capital Partners, a US-based private investment firm with focus on the specialty materials, chemicals and healthcare sectors, has acquired a controlling interest in AEB Group, a global leader in wine ingredients with growing positions in beer ingredients and food detergents. Headquartered in Brescia, Italy, AEB Group operates a network of production facilities and laboratories throughout Europe and the Americas.
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