News on International Trade

August 2015

Opening up of legal sector only after consultations with all: India to WTO

The Hindu BusinessLine, 8/17/15

Adopting a cautious approach, India has informed World Trade Organisation (WTO) members that it is looking at opening up its legal services sector to foreign lawyers and law firms, but would do so only after consultations with all stakeholders, including the Bar Council of India (BCI). Moreover, the benefits of an open legal sector would only be provided to those countries that offer similar treatment to Indian lawyers and firms, India said in response to questions posed by WTO members based on its trade policy review report.

JunHe: How to Thrive in the Chinese Legal Service Market? Between Co-existence and Competition
Leaders League, 8/13/15

It seems to many that China’s legal service market is a puzzle nut to crack or puzzle to solve. Partially-liberalized in the age of globalization, complex and diversified in terms of languages and cultures, subject to constantly changing markets and regulations… How does a leading Chinese law firm perceive this battlefield? What are the noticeable trends? What advice may it give to domestic and international competitors? Insights from Managing Partners Wei Xiao and Warren Hua of JunHe, one of China’s oldest and best full-service law firms.

Drew Hasselback: Why that proposal to let non-lawyers own Canadian law firms is probably toast
Financial Post, 8/12/15

It’s been almost a year to the day since a study by the Canadian Bar Association recommended that regulators open the door for Canadian law firms to be owned by non-lawyers. What has happened since? A U.K. accounting scandal that probably spells the end of Canadian regulators ever agreeing to the CBA proposal.

DIPP proposal: Foreign Law firms to operate in India through Proprietary Concerns, only for Non-litigious services
LiveLaw.in, 8/5/15

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is working on a proposal that would permit foreign legal firms to operate in India through a proprietary concern and only for non-litigious and arbitration services. It is likely to be taken up to the Union Cabinet in a month’s time. DIPP is working with a committee of secretaries that is examining the modalities of the proposal. Views of the Bar Council of India are being taken into consideration.

Littler and the Globalization of Canada’s Legal Market
Bloomberg BNA, 8/5/15

For one thing, Littler appears to be the first modern US-based Big Law firm to open a Canadian office that practices Canadian law. Other US firms have been here for a while, including White & Case, Shearman & Sterling, and Dorsey & Whitney, but they operate representative offices that serve Canadian clients with American lawyers. The only notable merger that ever took place across the 49th parallel was Torys’ hookup with New York’s Haythe Curley back in the 1990s, which was not precedent-setting. Canadian firms historically have received too much referral work from US lawyers to seriously consider straight-up mergers. Littler’s new office, however, will be fully engaged in the local market, and that’s something new.

Mumbai’s Brus Chambers opens shop in New York, MP invites foreign firms to reciprocate
Legally India, 8/5/15

Brus Chambers, a Mumbai-based law firm has opened a subsidiary firm headquartered in New York. Brus Chambers LLC was incorporated as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in New Jersey in March 2015, and opened its New York office on 26 May 2015, which now serves as the head-office with branch offices located in New Jersey, Washington and Missouri, said the firm’s managing partner Shrikanth Hathi. Hathi said via email that the New York office on the fifth floor of 830 Third Avenue already housed 32 US-qualified lawyers and paralegals, while New Jersey, Washington DC and Missouri employed nine US-qualified fee-earners each.

Foreign, Korean law firms to offer joint legal service
Korea Times, 8/4/15

Foreign and domestic law firms will be able to set up joint operations as early as July next year, the Ministry of Justice said Tuesday. The ministry submitted a revision bill of the Foreign Legal Consultant Act to the National Assembly in the third stage of opening of the nation's legal service market. The revision follows free trade agreements with the European Union and the United States on the legal service market.

Globalise from the inside out
Lawyer’s Weekly, 8/4/15

Multinationals are seeking law firms that not only have an international presence but that also can collaborate closely across multiple offices, a former Australian Law Awards winner says.

Foreign law firms to enter via Reg 24 of FEMA, cabinet to examine in a month
Legally India, 8/4/15

The government is close to finalising its proposal to allow foreign legal firms to operate out of India via investment in partnership or proprietary concerns, reported the Express. The legal sector would be opened up gradually according to the report. An unnamed official said that “permission will not be in the form of foreign direct investment. Instead, it is likely to be granted under regulation 24 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act that permits investments in firms of proprietary concern”.

July 2015

Law firms explore merger option with foreign players for growth 
The Economic Times/India Times, 7/28/15

MUMBAI: With the Bar Council of India having come around to accepting the entry of foreign law firms into the country as proposed by the government recently, medium-size firms have spotted an opportunity. Firms that were talking of expanding their own brands are increasingly considering alternatives.

Liberalisation step 1? Gov’t to allow foreign lawyers to arbitrate in India by amending Act, perhaps via ordinance
Legally India, 7/22/15

Commerce ministry joint secretary Sudhanshu Pandey told a US-Indian delegation today that the government would seek to pass an amendment to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act this session that would allow foreign lawyers to come to India to act for their clients in arbitrations.

Will the entry of foreign law firms benefit young lawyers? Rational realities, expectations and opportunities
Legally India, 7/17/15

Endless jobs? Sacks of money for all? Better working conditions for everyone? Young lawyer Dhruv Balai Paul ponders the implications of the possible entry of foreign law firms to India.

‘Liberalisation = obsolete subject’, as SILF’s Bhasin vows to go after Big 4’s best friends [read 28-page complaints]
Legally India, 7/16/15

The Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) will complain to the Bar Council of Delhi in the coming week against PDS Legal, Advaita Legal and other Indian law firms that are best friends with accountancy firms, as a follow-up to its recent complaints in the council against the Big Four consultancies E&Y, KPMG, PwC and Deloitte for their alleged unauthorized practice of law.

Bar council okay with foreign lawyers’ entry
The Times of India, 7/5/15

NEW DELHI: Bar Council of India (BCI) and Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) have agreed "in principle" with the government's proposal to gradually open up the legal sector to foreign players but insist that this should be on a reciprocal basis.

April 2015

Global giant Dentons unveils US merger 
Law Society Gazette, 4/9/15

Global outfit Dentons has announced a merger with US firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, 18 months after previous talks on a potential tie-up failed. The alliance builds on Dentons’ landmark deal in January with China’s largest law firm Dacheng, which created the biggest legal practice in the world by headcount.

Foreign law firms request to SC to consult in India adjourned to July 20 
The Economic Times, 4/7/15

Several UK and US-based law firms have told the Supreme Court that they have a right to hand-hold clients on foreign laws in India, rejecting the Bar Council of India's stand that foreign lawyers can only be allowed in India on a "reciprocal basis".

Unexpected ally: Who exactly is the Indian lawyers body intervening in foreign law firms case that has Harish Salve helping pro bono? 
Legally India, 4/7/15

More than one year after several foreign law firms dropped out of the case, the Global Indian Lawyers Association (GILA) yesterday intervened in the BCI’s appeal against the Madras high court’s decision in AK Balaji V Union of India, and filed a separate petition challenging the Bombay high court’s six-year-old decision in the Lawyers Collective case, which upheld the entry of foreign law firms.

Commerce secy Rajeev Kher: Will finalise foreign lawyer entry plan this month to place before cabinet 
Legally India, 4/6/15

Commerce secretary Rajeev Kher told Mint that a committee of secretaries may “meet as early as this month to clear the proposal on legal services, which will be subsequently placed before the cabinet for a final decision”.

In Supreme Court, random lawyers body comes to rescue of foreign firms out of nowhere as BCI strikes conciliatory note 
Legally India, 4/6/15

The Bar Council of India’s (BCI) appeal opposing entry of foreign law firms into India today inched forward in the Supreme Court, as the respondents finished filing their written submissions 32 months after the first hearing in the case. Final arguments in the BCI’s July 2012 appeal against the Madras high court judgment in AK Balaji V Union of India will begin in July.

In the fourth hearing in the case today, a lawyers’ organisation called the Global Indian Lawyers (GIL) joined as an intervenor, supporting the entry of foreign law firms into India.

Foreign lawyers to undergo registration with Russian Justice Ministry 
Russian Legal Information Agency, 4/6/15

Russia's Justice Ministry will be authorized to run a registry of foreign lawyers practising on the territory of the country, according to a presidential decree published on the official legal information website on Monday.

Foreign Law Firms to be Allowed in India? SC issues notice in challenge to Lawyers Collective 
Bar and Bench, 4/6/15

Six years after the Bombay High Court delivered its judgment in the Lawyer’s Collective case, a society of lawyers has chosen to appeal the judgment. At stake is the opening up of India’s legal market to the world.

Govt may soon liberalize legal services 
Livemint, 4/6/15

India may soon allow law firms to have more than 20 partners and lift a prohibition on legal advertising as part of initial efforts to improve the competitiveness of Indian services and boost exports. It may subsequently allow foreign lawyers to practice in the country in a limited manner and on a reciprocal basis.

ABA international head criticises Indian bar restrictions 
The Global Legal Post, 4/1/15

The chair of the American Bar Association Section of International Law has criticised India for its restrictive attitude towards foreign lawyers. Marcelo Bombau, in an interview with Metropolitan Counsel, whilst noting that attitudes were softening, asked: '.. Why does corporate counsel at a US company have to turn to an attorney in India rather than the attorney with whom he or she is accustomed to working?'  

March 2015

Scots law firms need to think global 
The Scotsman, 3/30/15

In recent times, the Scottish political arena has brought much internal examination but it is vital that the Scottish legal sector looks outwards. The UK, in particular the City of London, has been very successful in exporting legal services overseas and there is no reason why Scotland cannot do the same. 

EY Law gains Seoul partner 
The Global Legal Post, 3/30/15

EY Law has linked up with South Korean firm Apex Legal as it moves to build up its Asian network. The firm is based in Seoul and is the latest firm in the region to join the EY alliance.  EY has already signed up firms in Singapore and China and is looking for alliance partners in Malaysia.

Doubts cast on Singapore legal liberalisation 
The Law Society Gazette, 3/27/15

A US giant’s ‘combination’ with a Singapore law firm does not necessarily pave the way for other foreign firms wishing to operate in the country, the Law Society has said.

Chicago firm heralds London arrival with ABS first 
The Law Society Gazette, 3/27/15

The City branch of a Chicago firm has signalled its intention to expand into London after becoming the first alternative business structure set up by a US-based practice. The UK affiliate of Jenner & Block, which also operates from New York, Los Angeles and Washington, was granted ABS status by the Solicitors Regulation Authority earlier this month.

Attack of the bean-counters 
Lawyers beware: the accountants are coming after your business 
The Economist, 3/21/15

Having already dipped a toe into the legal business a couple of decades ago, only to retreat, the accountants have been stealthily building up legal-services divisions. These have now reached a size where they outgun most law firms: by headcount, PwC’s legal arm is the world’s tenth-biggest, and all four networks’ law divisions are in the top 40 by this measure

Morning Briefing: Study says law firms have a tough time in China 
Australasian Lawyer, 3/19/15

A new study reveals what many international law firms know from experience; practising in China can be tough. The report has been authored by academics at UC Berkeley in the US who obtained data from the 174 international law firms registered in China in 2012. It shows that there were on average 12 new law firms per year from 1992-2012 but that 7 closed each year because of bankruptcy or merger, while 25 in the whole period closed because of strategy change. Meanwhile China’s domestic law firms have grown in size and expanded beyond its borders especially in the last few years.

Why Tensions Are Rising Between International, African Law Firms 
AFK Insider, 3/18/15

Fee hogging, anger, and disrespect are some of the complaints by African law firms against their global counterparts, according to a new report on the state of the legal profession in Africa by U.K.-based Redstone Consultants.  As economies mature in Africa, there’s increased competition between local and international law firms and the rising perception that some foreign players don’t really understand how to do business in Africa, according to a video by MemesisLaw.

Envisioning Profits, Law Firms Find Tough Market in China, Study Says 
Bloomberg BNA, 3/17/15

A forthcoming U.C. Berkeley study focused on mainland China suggests that nearly all foreign law firms find it difficult to build a profitable practice there, thanks to fierce competition and strong government regulation.  Torn between the long term growth prospects in Asia and the cost of building a practice, the study found many international law firms stagnate in mainland China: The median office size is 11 lawyers and more than 80 percent of firms interviewed for the study said their office accounts for less than 5 percent of overall firm revenue.

The increasing need for lawyers without borders 
Business World Online, 3/17/15

Recently, however, there have been calls for the liberalization of legal services by allowing foreign lawyers to render certain legal services in the Philippines, subject to regulation by the Supreme Court and the Integrated Bar. Proponents espouse both practical benefits of allowing foreign lawyers and our country’s commitment to the international community as main reasons for liberalization to render legal services.

Stamford Law to go global after full merger with top US law firm  
The Business Times, 3/16/15

SINGAPORE'S sixth largest law firm, Stamford Law Corporation, will fully merge with one of the world's top five law firms, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, in a trailblazing move that will not only internationalise a local law firm but also pave the way for Singapore law to go global.

Bar council should reconsider opposition to entry of foreign lawyers: Justice N Kumar 
The Times of India, 3/15/15

Indian lawyer fraternity should not harbor fears about the entry of foreign lawyers in to the country. The Bar Council of India should reconsider its well-laid out stand in this regard and embrace the opportunities that such an arrangement will bring by way of reciprocity, noted Justice N Kumar, judge, High Court of Karnataka. The foreign lawyers will in no way make a dent on the livelihood of Indian lawyers but give them an opportunity to spread wings, he noted.Bar Council should reconsider opposition to entry of foreign lawyers: Justice N Kumar

Bar Council should reconsider opposition to entry of foreign lawyers: Justice N Kumar

Verdict corner: The case for opening up the legal space 
The Financial Express, 3/11/15

The debate over the entry of foreign law firms into India is back in the news, with the Narendra Modi-led government initiating talks with the Bar Council of India (BCI) for opening up the legal sector. In fact, the commerce ministry is giving “finishing touches” to the proposal to liberalise transactional legal services and international arbitration. The proposal could lead to the phased entry of foreign law firms into the country.

Global London: Weil and Covington sustain robust City growth as US firms expand market share  
Legal Business, 3/6/15

The results underline a three-year run in which US-bred law firms have made considerable ground in the UK. Legal Business's 2014 Global London report, which tracks the 50 largest foreign law firms in London, found that headcount in the Square Mile in the group had risen by 6% over the previous 12 months, with the 50 largest firms employing 4,624 lawyers as a whole. Current indications are that such trends are continuing... and perhaps even accelerating

Australia is part of Asia – global law firms ignore both at their peril 
Lawyer’s Weekly, 3/5/15

Hong Kong and Singapore have long been destinations for international firms looking to follow their clients into Asia, so much so that the domestic markets of both countries now have highly saturated legal markets with over 130 and 150 registered foreign firms respectively.  Mainland China has more recently experienced a significant growth in foreign firms, with over 250 foreign firms now practising within China. This growth in legal services in China, however, merely touches the surface of the legal work currently on offer in the country. With the Chinese economy continuing to grow the need for legal services will undoubtedly follow suit.

Should US firms take note of UK merger mania 
The Global Legal Post, 3/5/15

The logic of being present in the UK, primarily in London, continues to be compelling for many US firms. There are more than 100 American law firms with some physical presence in London, and new entrants, such as the Silicon Valley firm Cooley, keep arriving.

Japan eager to invite our lawyers to practice there: Law Minister 
The Hindu, 3/4/15

In a sign of global arenas opening up to Indian laws, Japan has written to the Centre inviting Indian lawyers and law firms to practice Indian laws on its shores. The Union Law Ministry has passed on the letter to the Bar Council of India (BCI), the country's top regulator for legal education and practice, to study the offer and report back on to what extent the offer can be reciprocated from India's side.

Why foreign law firms are most likely to enter India now (or never): An investigation into the realities of legal policy, lobbying & backroom talks 
Legally India, 3/3/15

Legally India investigates in Mint how special interests have succeeded at and could end up indefinitely stalling reform of legal services, despite the government's best laid intentions.

February 2015

Ware against FDI in the legal profession: Lalit Bhasin 
Interview with President, Society of Indian Law Firms 
The Business Standard, 2/22/15

Lalit Bhasin, president, Society of Indian Law Firms, explains to Sudipto Dey the reasons for legal fraternity's change in stance to entry of foreign law firms into the country.

Trowers applies for Malaysia licence 
The Law Society Gazette, 2/19/15

Trowers & Hamlins is seeking to become the first qualified foreign law firm (QFLF) in Malaysia following liberalisation of the legal services market. The firm has applied for a licence to operate following implementation of the Legal Profession (Amendment) Act 2012, which came into effect on 3 June last year

Merger prompts Chinese law firms to examine overseas strategies 
China Daily, 2/13/15

It is unclear whether the merger between Dacheng and Dentons will be a template for the future development of the legal industry. But it has already prompted Chinese law firms to reflect on their overseas strategies and begin exploring similar tie-up opportunities.

Milbank opens in Seoul 
Asian Legal Business, 2/5/15

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has opened a Foreign Legal Consultant office in Seoul, joining a host of international law firms that have entered the market since the signing of U.S. and EU Free-Trade Agreements with South Korea in 2011. Since the signing of U.S. and EU Free-Trade Agreements with Korea in 2011, which allow American and European law firms to open offices in Korea, more than 20 international law firms have set up shop in Seoul, operating as Foreign Legal Consultant offices. However, restrictions remain in force until Korea’s legal market is fully opened in 2016, which limits international firms to largely international dispute resolution and outbound work.

Shearman plans move into Africa through Egypt base 
The Global Legal Post, 2/5/15

Shearman is one of the firms which have been attracted to Egypt as the country appears to offer greater stabililty and business opportunities as it rebuilds after the 2011 revolution. Foreign firms cannot tie up with local firms so an associated office is an alternative.

January 2015

There’s a better path to US law firm success in Asia 
Asia Law Portal, 1/30/15

The recent announcement that US-based law firm Fried Frank would close its Shanghai and Hong Kong offices and leave Asia highlights the intense and unique competitive pressures US law firms face here.  The combined markets composing the Asia-Pacific legal markets – from South Korea through China and South East Asia to Australia and the Pacific Islands – are characterized by both opportunity and danger for any foreign law firm seeking to operate in the region.

For Foreign Law Firms in China, It’s Survival of the Fittest 
Wall Street Journal Law Blog, 1/27/15

The gamble of doing business in China came into sharp relief this past week when one U.S. law firm parted ways with China while another global firm took its relationship with the country to a whole new level.

Dentons to Merge With Dacheng of China to Create World’s Largest Law Firm 
New York Times, 1/27/15

The multinational law firm Dentons announced on Tuesday that it would merge with the Dacheng Law Offices of China, creating a firm with the world’s largest number of lawyers.

The new firm, to be branded Dacheng Dentons, will have more than 6,500 lawyers in more than 50 countries, overtaking Baker & McKenzie, with nearly 4,300 lawyers, as the world’s biggest.

Dentons, Dacheng merge to create world’s biggest law firm 
Reuters, 1/27/15

Multinational law firm Dentons and China's biggest legal practice Dacheng Law Offices said on Tuesday they had signed off on their merger, a move that will create the world's biggest law firm.  The new firm, which will be only the second time a Chinese firm and a global firm have combined, will count more than 6,500 lawyers in 50 countries.

Foreign law firms eye Indonesia market< 
The China Post, 1/27/15

Indonesian law firms are facing rising competition from global rivals lured by Indonesia's growing economy and the increasing number of corporate clients needing advice on major deals, such as infrastructure projects.

New York beats London on Commercial Court fees 
The Global Legal Post, 1/22/15

Some parties taking action in the London Commercial Court will be paying ten times as much in court fees as those in New York after the UK government decided to put the fees up.

Long-awaited Cooley office opens in London 
The Global Legal Times, 1/13/15

The former head of Morrison & Foerster in London, Justin Stock, has been appointed head of the new 55-lawyer office opened by California-based Cooley in Old Broad Street in the City of London. 

Weil leads US-dominated list of world's top M&A advisers 
The Global Legal Post, 1/9/15

Weil Gotshal, Simpson Thacher and Wachtell Lipton take the top three spots in a global M&A ranking in which US firms win nine of the top ten places.

‘An investment in Europe’: Latham & Watkins to open nearshoring office in Manchester 
Legal Business, 1/8/15

US firm Latham & Watkins has announced internally that it will open a business services office in Manchester during the first half of 2015. The firm says that growing demand in London, where the firm has expanded from 184 lawyers in 2010 to 258 in 2014, is behind the decision. A spokesperson for the firm told Legal Business: 'It's an investment in Europe.' 

Indian Supreme Court to hear foreign law firms case next month 
The Global Legal Post, 1/8/15

The Supreme Court will start hearing a crucial case - on the 'fly in fly out' rights of foreign law firms - on February 27. 

Why Chicago law firms are learning Mandarin
Crain’s Chicago Business, 1/3/15

Fifteen years ago, U.S. law firms wanted to post all their Mandarin-speaking attorneys to their offices in China, says Feng Xue, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman. Now they want to keep them here. Katten is one of several law firms that see opportunity in Chicago from Chinese clients and is preparing for it, one hire at a time. Chinese investment in the United States grew from $585 million in 2007 to $10.5 billion in 2012, according to data compiled by research firm Rhodium Group in New York.  

Singapore Aims to Outpace Hong Kong in Arbitrating Disputes 
Wall Street Journal, 1/2/15

Singapore is gaining ground against Hong Kong as Asia’s center for international arbitration by aggressively marketing such enticements as hefty tax breaks, squaring off in the legal-services sector that last year generated US$1.7 billion in Singapore alone.

December 2014

2014 Report to Congress On China’s WTO Compliance
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 12/30/14

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative presented to Congress today the 2014 annual report on China's compliance with its World Trade Organization obligations. The report is statutorily mandated by Congress and highlights the status of China's policies and practices in areas such as intellectual property rights, industrial policies, services, agriculture and transparency. Legal services are covered beginning at page 134.

Rules tightened for non-Qatari lawyers to appear in court
The Peninsula, 12/24/14

There are indications that rules are being changed and more conditions may be imposed on non-Qatari lawyer-employees of law firms to practice their profession. The Lawyers’ Admission Committee at the Ministry of Justice met yesterday and approved regulations applicable to lawyers, both Qataris and non-Qataris.

U.S. FACT SHEET: 25th U.S.-CHINA JOINT COMMISSION ON COMMERCE AND TRADE
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 12/19/14

Excerpt on legal services: “China agrees to conduct research and discussion at an appropriate time in 2015 to introduce the status and process of opening the Chinese legal services market, and to invite advice and suggestions from the foreign legal community. In the pilot work of exploring ways and mechanisms for strengthening business cooperation between Chinese and foreign, Hong Kong, and Macau law firms in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, Chinese relevant authorities are in the process of drafting implementation rules. Both sides agree to continue to exchange ideas on this work.”

Another Record Year for Law Firm Marriages
Esquire Legal  Search, 12/17/14

Though key markets in the U.S. were an important factor in mergers this year, international expansion remains a high priority in law firm expansion. Firms like Hogan Lovells, DLA Piper and Baker & McKenzie each absorbed boutiques or small firms in Mexico, Prague and South Africa.

Lalit Bhasin, SILF’s staunchest liberalisation opponent, suggests 5-7 year roadmap for foreign law firm entry
Legally India, 12/15/14

Lalit Bhasin, the chairman of the Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) – a law firm lobby group that was formed in part to oppose the entry of foreign lawyers to India – has written in a Business Standard column that he was now in favour of allowing the phased entry of foreign law firms, barely weeks after a report quoted an unnamed government official saying that the commerce ministry was finalising a proposal to allow phased entry of foreign law firms.

Legal Swiss Cheese
Newsweek, 12/15/14

Article discusses the verein structure adopted by some large international law firms and emerging issues related to ethics rules, conflicts and fee-sharing.

International trade of Australian legal and related services is now a billion-dollar industry
RWS01’s BD LOG, 12/15/14

Last Monday (15 December 2014) saw the publication of the Law Council of Australia‘s ‘Fourth Legal and Related Services Export Survey‘.  Key findings from the Report – which relate to the FY2010-11 period – are fascinating, not least of which is that total income from exports and international activity of Australian legal services was $932.8 million.

Follow a phased, sequential approach for entry
Business Standard, 12/14/14

President of the Society of Indian Law Firms, “We suggest a phased sequential approach for entry of foreign legal consultants and law firms into India over a period of five to seven years.”

Foreign firms must submit to Indian disciplinary rules

Business Standard, 12/14/14

There is a need to create a level-playing field before foreign firms are allowed to enter and practise in India

Bar Association Says Foreign Lawyers Working Here Illegally
The Cambodia Daily, 12/13/14

The Cambodian Bar Association on Friday published a statement in local media and on its website drawing attention to the fact that non-licensed foreign lawyers and firms working in Cambodia were doing so illegally.  Under the Law on the Bar, adopted in 1995, foreign lawyers are not permitted to represent clients in Cambodia, although bar-qualified law­yers may practice their profession with the authorization of the Cam­bodian Bar Association if a law­yer’s country of origin extends the same opportunity to Cambodian lawyers.

FTZ law firms to offer cross-border service
Ecns.cn, 12/10/14

A pilot scheme set to be introduced this month will allow both domestic and foreign law firms operating in Shanghai's free trade zone to provide cross-border legal services. This is the boldest liberalization of the legal services industry in China, and is available only in the Shanghai FTZ," Wang Xie, deputy director of the Shanghai Judicial Bureau, said yesterday. 

Foreign law firms’ in Israel – behind the curtains
ROBUS Legal Marketing and Consulting Services, 12/8/14

More than 60 foreign law firms have a presence of some sort in Israel, ranging from huge international practices to lesser-known boutiques. For some, this presence is nothing more than a desk temporarily occupied by a partner who only comes to Israel every few weeks. For others it’s a full-time representative on the ground. Close to ten law firms so far have gone further still and set up offices in Israel where attorneys practice the law of their home country – a phenomenon only possible since market deregulation in 2012 

Centre planning limited India entry for foreign law firms: Unnamed gov't source
Legally India, 12/4/14

An unnamed “government official” told the Hindu Businessline that the commerce ministry was putting “finishing touches” to a proposal to liberalise transactional legal services and international arbitration. 

Centre to open up legal sector in phases
Hindu Business Line, 12/3/14

The legal sector in India, which has so far remained the exclusive domain of domestic practitioners, may be partially opened to foreign law firms. The Commerce Ministry is working on a proposal for a phased opening up of the sector in non-litigious services and international arbitration, a government official told BusinessLine. 

Law firms pursue growth in Africa
Business Day, 12/3/14

THE global landscape for law firms has changed dramatically in the past three decades, but SA has only experienced this transformation more recently.  Several international law firms recently opened fully-fledged offices in SA, mainly in Johannesburg. Many had previously offered their services from the UK or US. 

EY enters UK legal market
The Law Society Gazette, 12/1/14

Accountancy giant EY has been given the go-ahead to offer legal services in the UK as it expands its global law offering. EY is the third of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms to be granted an alternative business structure licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The move allows the firm to grow its global law practice, which already has more than 1,100 people in 60 locations.

November 2014

Gotham goes Global: Benefits of litigating foreign disputes in US courts
The Global Legal Post – Blog, 11/28/14

The English judicial system may be amongst the best in the world but, argues Gordon Dobie of Winston & Strawn, the US legal system has  a number of advantages.

Texas law firms gear up for booming Mexican business
Dallas Morning News, 11/27/14

The reason: The border nation is reforming its energy market. For the first time in 75 years, Mexico’s rich oil and gas reserves will be open to private foreign investors for exploration and production.  Dozens of law firms, most of them based in Texas or with prominent Texas operations, are seeking to expand into Mexico. Some have opened new offices or want to do so.

Legal industry growing faster than GDP: Shanmugam
Channel NewsAsia, 11/25/14

Singapore's legal industry is growing faster than the country's economic growth in recent years. Law Minister K Shanmugam said the growth rate of legal services compounded over the past six years is about 7 per cent per year, compared with GDP growth of about 5.4 per cent per year.

Singapore has also succeeded in developing its role in international arbitration - within the last five years, Singapore shot up to become the third most preferred centre of arbitration globally.

'Big stick' ideology may give the needed leverage in overseas business relationships
Mainebiz, 11/17/14

As Maine companies seek to move business beyond their own shore, local law practices are guiding the way, vetting potential partners, assuring local and international laws and treaties are met, protecting intellectual property and handling disputes.

Japanese and Indian lawyers collaborate as trade rises
The Global Legal Post, 11/12/14

With Japanese business inquiries into India nearly at double their 2013 level, lawyers in the two countries are collaborating in the expectation of working on future deals.

Special report: European firms in London – Why London is still Lawyertown
The Lawyer, 11/10/14

Why is London so attractive? European firms might not be able to quantify the benefits, but they maintain there is a strong business case for being in the UK’s capital. Firms that want to improve their pipelines for work from US, UK and European businesses see London as a one-stop shop to get to know clients, gain brand visibility and collaborate with other firms in transactions involving their country’s law.

Ivory Coast Bar vows to pursue Orrick for 'breaching' bar rules
The Lawyer, 11/10/14

The Ivory Coast Bar Association has opened proceedings against Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe following the firm’s launch of an affiliated office in the country, with plans to go to court if necessary.  Bokola said the country’s rules meant foreign firms were not able to establish offices in the Ivory Coast, and lawyers admitted to other bars were not allowed to practise in the country. Although the launch was described as an affiliation, Bokola said this still contravened bar rules and was a “veiled” attempt by Orrick to open its own office.

Singapore's international mediation centre opens for business
Out-Law.com, 11/7/14

"SIMC's mediation services will complement our successful arbitration sector and upcoming enhanced international litigation capabilities provided by the Singapore International Commercial Court. Our focus on offering this complete suite of dispute resolution options for international commercial cases sets us apart from other jurisdictions, and enhances our standing as a one-stop dispute resolution centre," he said.

Blow for foreign law firms from Qatari lawyers
The Global Legal Post, 11/5/14

The Qatari Lawyers' Association has voted against renewing rules which allow a system of dual licensing to foreign law firms.

October 2014

Some important IBA products
The Law Society Gazette, 10/31/14

Some significant documents were launched at the Tokyo conference. Chief among them from my point of view was the Global Cross Border Legal Services Report. If I were able to add sound to this piece, the volume would be at ear-piercing level, to ensure that you hear about it (the report is more a website than a document). For the first time, there is harmonised and accurate information about what foreign lawyers can do in around 90 countries (and many more jurisdictions, because it includes state-level information for federal entities like the US).

Amarchand eyes Singapore for ninth office
The Global Legal Post, 10/20/14

India's largest law firm, Amarchand Mangaldas, is starting to plan the location of its ninth office - and has put Hong Kong, London, Dubai, New York and Singapore on the shortlist.

Land of the rising lawyer
The Law Society Gazette, 10/30/14

Japan is looking to build a global legal services industry. And it’s one that presents more of an opportunity than a threat.

Battle lines drawn for law firms in the Asian Century
Law Management Hub, 10/30/14

Conquering Asian markets has never been easy, but with the growing presence of multinationals it has never been more important for law firms in the region to pursue the right strategies for success, writes Eric Chin.

Senator Urges Probe of Foreign Firms Representing Russia in the Hague
The Moscow Times, 10/29/14

A member of the Federation Council has expressed concern over the fact that foreign law firms were hired to defend Russia's interests in international court proceedings that led to a costly loss to Yukos shareholders last summer, a news report said Wednesday.

Why it's a good idea for foreign law firms to be barred from practice in India
Scroll.in, 10/27/14

During a recent visit to India, Shailesh Vara, the United Kingdom’s minister for the Courts and Legal Aid, expressed optimism about the government opening up the legal services sector to law firms and lawyers from abroad. With the present government’s enthusiasm for foreign investment, he said, India should not miss out on the opportunity the draw the best international legal talent to its shores.  Yet the path to convert this into reality is tough and twisted, and for sound reason. Since 2009, the courts and Bar Council of India have opposed the liberalisation of the Indian bar not out of fear of competition – as many claim – but on principle.

U.S. law firms continue to gain ground in the battle for the UK legal market
Project Counsel, 10/27/14

The rise of the largest US firms in London has been recognized anecdotally for much of this year but data published in the The Lawyer UK200 report can now reveal that the largest U.S. firms are so entrenched in the UK legal market that they are collectively generating over £2bn annually and are major players in the 100 firms bringing in the most revenue from the UK.

Cabinet Minister: Legal Profession Must 'Open Up'
Bahamas Tribune, 10/23/14

A Cabinet Minister yesterday made a renewed appeal for the Bahamian legal profession to open up to specialist foreign firms, arguing this was essential to grow the financial services industry’s business volumes.

Hong Kong becomes hot spot for US lawyers
The Global Legal Post, 10/23/14

The rapid growth in investigations in China into corporate misconduct has seen several US law firms increase their numbers there.

Open Field for Foreign Law Firms
The Ant Daily, 10/21/14

The legal service, once the exclusive domain of Malaysian lawyers – essentially those who have been admitted to the Malaysian Bar – will now accept lawyers from other countries. Foreign law firms will also be allowed to set up branches in Malaysia.

Globalaw in Managing Partner Forum first
The Global Legal Post, 10/21/14

Globalaw, the network of 110 independent law firms, has held its first annual 'managing partner forum' for American members.

BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi: ‘I want to extend protection’ for Indian lawyers, want more US visas
Legally India, 10/16/14

Supreme Court advocate, Lok Sabha member and BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, speaking at a legal conference of the US India Business Council (USIBC) in Delhi yesterday, said that she would ‘extend protection’ for Indian lawyers against the entry of foreign law firms to India.

Law Society of Kenya wants Registrar General to revoke registration of law firm operating illegally
Standard Digital News, 10/8/14

The LSK Secretary and CEO Mr. Apollo Mboya has written to the Registrar General Ms. Bernice Gachegu claiming  that Fragomen Law Firm is illegal and masquerading as such in Nairobi.

Singapore Welcomes Foreign Judges as H.K. Lawyers Fret
Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/7/14

Judges from other jurisdictions will be able to hear cross-border disputes at the Singapore International Commercial Court, according to proposed changes tabled in Parliament yesterday. Singapore, which earlier allowed foreign lawyers to advise clients on its corporate laws, will also let them appear in the new court.

Why India should open up its legal market
The Lawyer, 10/7/14

Justice Minister Shailesh Vara MP on why now is the right time for the Indian legal market to finally open up.

September 2014

From Global to Local: Debevoise & Plimpton Changes Asia Approach
BSG Attorney Search, 9/30/14

Debevoise & Plimpton announced on Monday that it is switching status in Hong Kong "to establish as a local practice." The practice in Hong Kong is led by a team of eight partners and international counsel, and includes 12 lawyers admitted as solicitors in Hong Kong. For the last 20 years, Debevoise & Plimpton had operated as a 'foreign law firm' registered with the Hong Kong Law Society.  The change in status, besides obvious tax connotations, would allow Debevoise in Hong Kong to provide Hong Kong law advice to locals, in addition to providing the legal advice on international and US law that it currently provides.

Law firms view Middle East positively says Fox Rodney Search
The Global Recruiter, 9/29/14

The UAE continues to be the most attractive base for international law firms in the Middle East according to a report from Fox Rodney Search. The financial crisis appears to have slowed down law firm expansion in the region only briefly and new offices have continued to open at a regular rate since 2011. The company says US firms account for 50 per cent of new entrants into the market, a surprising statistic considering the tendency for UK firms to favour the Middle East.

Top Chinese firm opens door to western alliance
The Global Legal Post, 9/22/14

'Red circle' practice Commerce & Finance has told The Lawyer magazine that it would 'be happy to see' a deal with an international law firm.

The View From Up North — Why Aren’t There More International Law Firms in Canada?
Above the Law, 9/17/14

By my count, that’s eleven U.S./international firms that have a real footprint in Canada, which leads to this question: why aren’t there more? Canada is a G8 nation with a strong economy. Our citizens are warm and friendly. We wear deodorant. Why have you forsaken us, international law firms?

Texas Supreme Court Adopts Changes to International Law Practice
Haynes & Boone, 9/16/14

The Texas Supreme Court has recently issued its final approval for a set of reforms to the state’s international law practice rules that had been recommended by a task force chaired by Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Larry Pascal.

August 2014

Georgia State’s Masters for Foreign Attorneys to Aid Arbitration Center
Global Atlanta, 8/25/14

Georgia State University’s law school next fall will launch a master’s degree program to help lawyers trained in overseas jurisdictions gain eligibility to practice law in the United States. 

The move will coincide with the first semester in the College of Law’s new $82.5 million building, which will house the Atlanta Center for Commercial Arbitration and Mediation on its fourth floor. 

Australian start-up lawyers open in London and New York 
The Global Legal Post, 8/19/14

General Standards, a Melbourne-based law firm that started last year specialising in start-ups, is opening up in London and New York.

Duane Morris opens in Shanghai 
The Global Legal Post, 8/19/14

The Shanghai launch marks the third international opening for the firm since the beginning of 2013.  In March of that year, Duane Morris opened its first office in the Middle East through a joint venture in Oman with the Dr. Said Al Mashaikhi Law Firm, a law firm in Muscat.  More recently, in September, Duane Morris & Selvam established an office in Myanmar, the first of any US-based firm. 

PwC launches Australian legal services arm 
The Global Legal Post, 8/18/14

The global accountancy firm has launched its next move in the battle for domination of the legal market with the hire of two ex-KWM partners.

Singapore faces lawyer glut 
The Global Legal Post, 8/18/14

The number of lawyers practising in Singapore has leapt up 25 per cent to 4,400 in the last four years, according to Law Minister K. Shanmugam. 

Let non-lawyers own law firms: Canadian Bar Association 
The Globe and Mail, 8/14/14

As the legal profession grapples with changes driven by new technology and global competition, a new report from the Canadian Bar Association calls for radical revisions to the rules that govern lawyers, including scrapping the current regime that prohibits most non-lawyer ownership of law firms. 

Baker & McKenzie sets sights on foreign corporates 
The Nation, 8/14/14

Large foreign corporates keen to invest in Myanmar are the target clients of Baker & McKenzie's Yangon office, said company executives who foresee unlimited opportunities in the country.

Pillsbury taps Paul Hastings for Beijing office launch 
The Lawyer, 8/12/14

San Francisco firm Pillsbury has launched a Beijing base after taking a two-partner team from US rival Paul Hastings. Pillsbury chair James Rishwain said the Beijing launch is “an expression of the firm’s ongoing and consistent commitment to China’s growing role in the world economy”, adding that many of the firm’s Chinese clients are headquartered in the city.

Squire Patton Boggs integration gives firm global reach 
Dallas Business Journal, 8/12/14

Over the past five years, international law firm Squire Sanders has focused on expanding in Europe and Asia. Then came the opportunity to merge with Patton Boggs, the Washington, D.C., law firm that has 40 attorneys in its Dallas office. Post-merger, the firm has about 1,600 lawyers in 44 offices in 21 countries. 

Dechert gains Singapore licence after 8 month wait 
Legal Business, 8/11/14

Eight months after applying for a Foreign Legal Practice licence to open in Singapore, US law firm Dechert has been given the nod to launch its fourth Asian office.

New York is top choice for arbitration in the US 
The Global Legal Post, 8/8/14

It was also, by far, the most popular seat for international arbitration in the US with three times as many arbitrations as the next most popular seat, Miami. New York was also one of the six most important arbitral seats worldwide, along with Paris, London, Geneva, Zurich and Singapore. 

Regional law firms in a skills-sharing partnership 
The New Times, 8/1/14

It will no longer be difficult for investors and global organisations to access international legal services after DLA Piper, a global law firm with presence across the world, strengthened its presence in the region.  According to David Church, the DLA Piper international development partner, the firm has expanded partnerships with more regional lawyers “to serve the increasing demand for quality legal services across the East African region”. “The formation of DLA East Africa is a proactive response to the increasing demand from clients, especially investors, for international-related legal services that cannot be provided by local law firms.  

July 2014

PwC ties up with Singapore law firm 
The Global Legal Post, 7/31/14

The legal arm of accountancy Big Four firm PwC has tied up with Camford Law in Singapore, part of a move to boost its Asian business. 

The American Lawyer Finds Accounting Giants Again Targeting Legal Services Market, Though Survey Shows Client Interest Weak 
GlobeNewswire, 7/30/14

Both PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young are likely to build leading global law firms within the next five years, according to The American Lawyer, while Deloitte and KPMG have been hiring in the United Kingdom, Germany and Asia. All are clearly refocused on markets they largely abandoned a decade ago. However, a survey by The American Lawyer of 100 general counsel and in-house lawyers at leading global corporations suggests the accounting firms may have to overcome a deeper problem than regulation: lack of potential client interest.

Russian Ministry of Justice grants lawyer’s licence to Dacheng attorney 
The Lawyer, 7/28/14

Russia has installed a registration system for foreign lawyers practising law on its land to cope with the ever-increasing internationalisation of its own legal market. In 2014, Russia’s Ministry of Justice released a new version of licences to replace the old ones. 

Lawyers trained to help deal with transnational cases 
China Daily, 7/22/14

More training will be offered to law firms and lawyers specializing in cross-border lawsuits to expand their presence in an area dominated by foreign competitors, a senior official from the Justice Ministry said.  By next year, the All-China Lawyers Association plans to train at least 300 lawyers from 100 law firms to engage in cross-border lawsuits, said Du Chun, director of the ministry's directing lawyers and notarization department. 

South Africa: southern comfort 
The Law Society Gazette, 7/21/14

There has been a surge in international law firms opening offices in the South African cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. UK-based firms Dentons and Clyde & Co are the most recent arrivals, following in the footsteps of Norton Rose Fulbright, Linklaters, Hogan Lovells and others. Many more global outfits are looking at how they can enter the continent’s most sophisticated legal market. 

'We're all struggling with how to capitalise on changes in the global marketplace' – Simmons' Hoyland points to Asia for growth 
Legal Business, 7/15/14

Speaking to Legal Business, Hoyland says while the vast majority of international law firms have significant footprints in Asia, and in China specifically, there is a constant struggle to get a return on investment, particularly with the need to make expensive lateral hires keeping costs high. 

Hogan Lovells Heads South of the Border 
Wall Street Journal Law Blog, 7/7/14

Another major global law firm is moving into Mexico, hoping to capitalize on economic reforms intended to spur foreign investment in the U.S.’s third-largest trading partner.  Next month Hogan Lovells, which has more than 2,300 lawyers worldwide, plans to add 70 more attorneys to its roster by merging with a prominent Mexican law firm, Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa, that has offices in Mexico City and Monterrey. 

Foreign lawyers can now practise in the peninsula, says Malaysian Bar 
MSN Malaysia News, 7/3/14

Foreign lawyers are now allowed to practise in the peninsula following amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976 (LPA) and rules which came into effect early this month, the Malaysian Bar said.  Its president Christopher Leong said a major consideration of the new legislation was to allow locals to compete with foreigners on a level playing field. 

June 2014

Asia Pac 150: Growth at independent firms outstrips international rivals  
The Lawyer, 6/30/14

The growth of international firms in Asia Pacific stalled in 2013, while the top 100 independent firms in the region by 12 per cent, research for The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 2014 revealed. 

Holland & Knight exits Middle East to focus on Americas
The Global Legal Post, 6/30/14

Miami-based Holland & Knight is closing its sole Middle East base in Abu Dhabi and refocusing on the US and the Latin American markets. 

Labour will charge foreign oligarchs for using British courts 
The Independent, 6/26/14

Oligarchs and foreign firms who use the UK courts to settle their multimillion legal disputes would be forced to pay a “British justice premium”, under a Labour government. Foreign plaintiffs currently pay just a fraction of the real costs of running England’s commercial court system – on average just £1,930 a case. But the percentage of cases coming before the courts, where at least one party is foreign domiciled, is now over 80 per cent.

Liberalisation kicks off in Kenya 
The Lawyer, 6/24/14

Kenya could be the next big target for international firms wanting to grow in Africa. A common complaint of law firms wishing to grow their international presence is that local regulations prevent them from doing so. Equally, a common refrain from some independent firms in developing markets is that a cohort of their peers are actively preventing their market from opening up, usually by arguing that increased competition is a bad thing. Both arguments have some basis in fact, and both are likely to be tested in the coming months in one of Africa’s key jurisdictions - Kenya. 

Texas Supreme Court Order Adopts International Law Practice Task Force Recommendations 
Thompson & Knight, 6/23/14

Recently the Texas Supreme Court adopted rules accepting the recommendations of a Task Force on practice of International Law in Texas. The rules are designed to encourage more international practitioners, who are currently admitted to practice law in foreign countries, to become members of the State Bar of Texas. 

Greater role for Chinese lawyers emerging in transnational affairs 
ECNS, 6/23/14

More Chinese lawyers will be promoted as legal advisers in State-owned companies for transnational business, amid concerns over national and economic security, a senior officer of the All-China Lawyers Association said. Most State-owned companies have been hiring foreign lawyers and accountants for cross-border lawsuits or transnational transactions, which can potentially compromise national economic security, said Wang Junfeng, director of the association. 

Is Linklaters ready for a China alliance? 
The Lawyer, 6/23/14

Traditionally Chinese scepticism over tie-ups has prevented deals from getting off the ground. But the launch of the Pilot Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) at the end of last year and the SJ Berwin and King & Wood Mallesons deal has altered the way East and West view integration. The SFTZ has opened up service sectors to foreign investment and for the first time openly allows formal associations between local and foreign law firms (13 March 2014). It means a Linklaters’ China alliance would allow it to offer combined international and PRC advice to clients for the first time. But both sides are mired in debate as to how to go about greater state-sanctioned cooperation. 

Taylor Wessing heads for the US
The Global Legal Post, 6/23/14

International law firm Taylor Wessing today announced the opening of two representative offices in the USA. The offices, in Palo Alto and New York, will both open in September this year.  The firm will not be practicing US law, but rather using its locations in Palo Alto and New York to support US clients' international growth. 

Legal Firms Look for Russians With Experience Working Abroad 
The Moscow Times, 6/17/14

Legal firms are looking for lawyers with experience in more than one jurisdiction, and increasingly that means a Russian who has worked abroad, or a foreign lawyer with Russian skills — rather than the traditional expat in Moscow or St. Petersburg. The globalization of the economy means that deals are increasingly taking place across borders and through offshore corporate entities, said William Partlett, a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia Law School. 

Malaysia opens legal services market 
The Global Legal Post, 6/17/14

Malaysia is now allowing foreign firms to open within its jurisdiction and from join ventures with domestic firms. 

KPMG hires for legal division in Ireland 
The Global Legal Post, 6/16/14

KPMG has launched its legal services division in Ireland as it gets ready for the Irish Government’s legal services bill which will permit multidisclipinary partnerships. 

Texas Supreme Court Issues Order on Changes to International Law Practice 
Digital Journal, 6/11/14

The rule changes would represent a major leap forward for international law practice in Texas and largely match the rules of perennial market leader New York. In particular, foreign lawyers licensed in civil law countries would be eligible to sit for the Texas Bar by completing an LLM Master's degree from an ABA-approved law school, in addition to the other requirements under the rule including but not limited to passing a character and fitness test. Common law applicants would have three different routes in order to be eligible to sit for the Texas Bar exam.

Kenya takes first steps towards legal market liberalisation 
The Lawyer, 6/11/14

Kenya’s notoriously closed legal market is taking the first steps towards liberalisation with confirmation that a committee has been established to review its Advocates Act. The review could pave the way for foreign firms to open their own offices in the jurisdiction. Currently, independent firms associated with foreign outfits are not permitted to use the branding or name of their international partners. 

China law: what you really want to know 
The Lawyer, 6/9/14

Once the microphones are turned off, what are the big questions UK and US lawyers are asking the Chinese? Here they are – and the answers too. 

Deloitte plots legal market assault with appointment of global managing director 
Legal Business, 6/9/14

Deloitte has become the last of the Big Four accountancy firms to announce plans to re-enter the legal market with the appointment of Rotterdam-based Piet Hein Meeter as global managing director of Deloitte Legal.  The move will see Meeter, formerly chief executive of Deloitte in the Netherlands, build an international legal practice. 

Foreign Mergers Expand Ranks at Big Law Firms
New York Times, 6/9/14

The number of lawyers at the country’s largest law firms rose last year, but the increase was largely because of mergers with foreign firms, not domestic hiring, according to a new survey from The National Law Journal

Merger-Fueled Influx of Foreign Lawyers Drives 3.9% Jump In NLJ 350 Firms’ Lawyer Count, National Law Journal Finds 
ALM, 6/9/14

The number of lawyers at the nation’s 350 largest law firms jumped 3.9 percent in 2013, more than in any year since the recession, but the increase was due to mergers with foreign law firms rather than domestic hiring, according to ALM’s The National Law Journal, which published its annual NLJ 350 survey report in today’s issue and online atwww.nationallawjournal.com

Marine Insurance & Legal Services Liberalization in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone 
China Briefing, 6/6/14

In other recent developments concerning the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, a proposal to liberalize the legal services sector in the Zone has received the green light from China’s Ministry of Justice. The Shanghai Bureau of Justice has been tasked with drafting the regulations and measures governing the course of liberalization. When enacted, the new legal services regulations will permit stronger collaboration between Chinese and foreign firms.

May 2014

Special report: Czech Republic/Slovakia – Nervous centre 
The Lawyer, 5/26/14

Along with uncertain deal flows, the lack of international work is starting to drive some global law firms out of Prague. This year both Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright closed their Czech operations. International firms have been in the Czech Republic, and to a lesser extent Slovakia, since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Allen & Overy (A&O) was one of the first in, launching in 1992, but even after the exit of Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright there remain more than 10 Anglo-Saxon firms with Prague offices, including Baker & McKenzie, Dentons, DLA Piper and White & Case. A&O, Dentons, DLA Piper, Squire Sanders, Taylor Wessing and White & Case are all also present in Bratislava.

Australian firm opens in Fiji 
Lawyer’s Weekly, 5/21/14

Rockwell Olivier has become the first foreign legal practice to launch an office in Fiji.

Top Indian lawyers predict arrival date of foreign firms 
The Global Legal Post, 5/19/14

Cyril Shroff, managing partner of India's largest law firm Armarchand & Mangaldas, is predicting that foreign law firms will be able to practice in the country by the end of this decade.

Special report: Russia – Feeling the chill 
The Lawyer, 5/19/14

It’s a nervous time for international law firms in Moscow, as Russia’s rift with the West threatens to throw their businesses off course – possibly for good.

Globalaw predicts the next 20 years 
The Global Legal Post, 5/19/14

…Secondly, several firms predicted that in its own right Latin America will become a major global legal market with an increasing number of Latin American companies growing to become multinationals, creating significant opportunities for international legal networks. Finally, a number of respondents predicted that the global legal market will be marked by increased competition and that jurisdictions offering  efficient and cost-effective services along with predictable rulings will succeed.

In the effort to lure foreign investors from California, Texas scores an own goal 
International Business Development Blog, 5/17/14

While the State of Texas ability to attract foreign investment is truly impressive, its State Bar has just taken a step that may radically limit the ability for Texas law firms to help the state win new foreign investment. As Heather Morse, noted US legal blogger and law firm marketing professional outlined yesterday, the Texas State Bar appears to have significantly limited the ability for law firms to compensate and structure employment of law firm marketing and business development professionals who do not hold active law licenses.

Attorney: More firms practicing out of U.S. 
Buffalo Law Journal, 5/16/14

George Eydt, a native of Canada, who also passed the bar in New York, has the capability to practice law in his home country and this state. But the managing partner of the Toronto office of Buffalo-based Hodgson Russ said he only practices New York state law. 

Linklaters ponders Shanghai free trade zone entry 
The Global Legal Post, 5/14/14

Legal reforms which have been promised for the Shanghai free trade zone (SFTZ) have proved slow to appear and could be holding up some investment including a possible local firm tie-up by Linklaters.

Brazilian British Lawyers Exchange Programme launches 
The Law Society of England & Wales, 5/13/14

The Law Society and the Bar Council signed agreements with the OAB to strengthen ties between the organisations and their members. This Programme is part of the implementation of these agreements which have also seen high level visits by each organisation and ongoing dialogue on policy matters of mutual interest. 

Hogan Lovells second top 10 firm to exit Prague in under a month 
Legal Business, 5/13/14

Transatlantic firm Hogan Lovells has become the second top ten LB 100 firm in recent weeks to announce it is withdrawing from Prague, blaming difficult market conditions.

Flying Emirates: legal market resurgent in UAE 
The Law Society Gazette, 5/12/14

An upturn in M&A activity and growing interest from Asian investors are enhancing the longstanding appeal of the UAE to international law firms.

Are The Am Law 100 Rankings Unfair? Let’s Whine About Vereins 
Above the Law, 5/6/14

The arrival last week of the latest Am Law 100 rankings brought a hot-button subject back to the headlines: vereins.  For purposes of preparing its influential Am Law 100 rankings, the American Lawyer treats a verein as a single firm — a decision that some at non-verein firms object to.

Shanghai boosted by new arbitration guidance 
The Global Legal Post, 5/6/14

The publication of rules governing arbitration cases in the free trade zone which is being piloted in Shanghai is expected to boost the attractiveness of the area to foreign investors.

April 2014

Malaysia Bar threatens US firms over missing plane advice 
The Global Legal Post, 4/17/14

The Malaysian Bar has warned local families to be careful about using US law firms over the missing flight MH370 and has threatened the firms with legal action if they break a ban on foreign lawyers giving advice.

‘Foreign lawyers cannot practice here yet’ 
FMT News, 4/15/14

Foreign lawyers are not allowed to practice or provide legal advise while in Malaysia, at least for now. Bar Council’s co-chairperson of Trade in Legal Services committee, Andrew Khoo said while there were amendment made to the Legal Profession Act of 1976 to allow foreign lawyers to do limited legal work in Malaysia, the law will only come into force late this year.

Foreign law firms take big bite of M&A market 
Korea Times, 4/7/14

Multinational law firms are rapidly catching up with the dominant player Kim & Chang in the local merger and acquisition legal advisory market, Bloomberg's quarterly review showed Monday. Multinational law firms are expected to expand their clout here at the cost of their Korean counterparts in line with further opening of the domestic legal services market.

March 2014

China Law Firm Acquisition Market Heats Up with Multiple M&A Deals 
China Briefing, 3/31/14

The push to get into the Chinese legal services market has been heating up with the announcement that Ernst & Young, one of the “Big Four” auditors, have acquired Shanghai-based law firm Chen & Co.  The Ernst & Young acquisition marks a leap into the legal services market by the firm. As one of the Big Four global accounting and audit practices, the move marks a shift in the firm’s emphasis of services provision. All of the Big Four firms have merged with smaller Chinese accounting practices over the years to build up their China domestic presence, however, the Chen & Co acquisition is only the second time such a move has been made into legal services, with Deloitte’s establishing a law firm early last year. Badged as Qin Li and based in Shanghai, the firm is a licensed Chinese law practice and is promoted as part of Deloitte’s global network.

Skadden opens in Seoul 
Asian Legal Business, 3/31/14

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has opened an office in Seoul, its 23rd office worldwide and seventh in the Asia Pacific region.  The signing of U.S. and EU Free-Trade Agreements in 2011 allows American and European law firms to open offices in Korea. So far, around 20 international law firms have set up shop in Seoul, operating as Foreign Legal Consultant Offices.

Global business firms lead the international pack in African relationships 
The Lawyer, 3/28/14

The largest global business firms, such as Baker & McKenzie, Dentons, DLA Piper, Herbert Smith Freehills and Norton Rose Fulbright, have the deepest relationships with African independents, research by The Lawyer has indicated.

Here come the accountants, part 2: EY to enter legal market 
Legal Futures, 3/27/14

The prospect of the ‘big four’ accountants challenging the City status quo moved up another notch today after EY hired a senior lawyer to build a “legal capability” in the UK. EY already has legal operations elsewhere around the world and says on its website that the legal practice is “undergoing global expansion.” 

20 months on, most foreign law firms still not served in BCI appeal in AK Balaji writ; Dua, HSB instructed 
Legally India, 3/26/14

Twenty months after the Supreme Court (SC) had given 10 weeks to complete serving notices on foreign law firms, the Bar Council of India (BCI) appeal in the AK Balaji Madras high court petition against foreign law firms practicing in India, remains stuck at the service stage.

Law firm SNG Partners to enter Singapore next month 
Business Standard, 3/23/14

Law firm SNG Partners will be opening its first overseas branch in Singapore next month to capitalise on the concentration of financial services companies in the island nation. Despite opposing entry of overseas peers, a rising number of domestic law firms are spreading their wings abroad. Law firms like Nishit Desai Associates (which opened its Singapore branch early 2000) and Wadia Ghandy and Dua Associates, among others, opened their Singapore office a few years back.

Shanghai FTZ to Expand Liberalization of the Legal Services Industry in China 
China Briefing, 3/26/14

On January 27, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) approved the Shanghai Judicial Bureau’s “Pilot Work Scheme for Exploring China-Foreign Law Firm Business Cooperation Methods and Mechanisms in the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone (Shanghai FTZ)” (hereinafter referred to as the “Scheme”). The Scheme is expected to expand liberalization of the legal services industry and serve as a model for other legal service markets in China.

European M&A dominated by US firms in Q1 2014 as market bounces back 
The Lawyer, 3/24/14

The European M&A market has ballooned by more than a third in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year, with US firms dominating the rankings

LLP tax changes continue despite protests 
The Global Legal Post, 3/20/14

The changes were designed to clamp down on the scope for abuse within limited liability partnerships. But lawyers have tried to persuade the government that innocent firms will be caught and that honest law firms could be faced with large tax bills.

PwC Legal chief: we can be a top 20 global legal services business in five years 
The Lawyer, 3/18/14

The head of PricewaterhouseCooper’s legal arm (PwC Legal) has set out the firm’s ambitions to become a global top-20 legal services player within the next five years. PwC currently has legal services offerings in 83 different countries with around 2,400 lawyers. However, the range of services available in each jurisdiction varies greatly and is delivered via different vehicles, such as a stand-along locally registered law firm or the tax and business advisory arms at a local member of PwC.

Shanghai to pilot China’s legal market liberalisation measures 
The Lawyer, 3/14/14

A Shanghai Bureau of Justice official has hinted that the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone’s (FTZ) experiment on allowing associations between Chinese and foreign firms will lead to further opening up of the country’s legal services sector.  The FTZ promises to explore cooperative mechanisms between Chinese and foreign law firms and its proposal has recently been approved by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

(Don’t) Kill foreign lawyers 
The Jakarta Post, 3/11/14

It is hard to believe that to this day no clear rules have been put in place with regards to the practice of foreign lawyers in Indonesia. The only piece of legislation in Indonesia that deals with foreign law practice is Article 23 of the 2003 Law on advocates. Paragraph (1) of this article stipulates that foreign lawyers are not allowed to appear in court under any circumstances or open their own offices (including representative offices) in Indonesia.

EY to extend Asian legal services 
The Global Legal Post, 3/4/14

Big Four accountancy firm EY is planning to spread its Asian legal network into Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Korea.

February 2014

Singapore renews five QFLP licences as Herbert Smith Freehills opts out 
The Lawyer, 2/28/14

Singapore’s Ministry of Law (MinLaw) today announced the highly anticipated results of the renewal process to extend the six QFLP licences it first granted in 2008.  A&O, Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins and Norton Rose Fulbright have been given a five-year extension to their QFLP licences. But White & Case has been granted only a one-year conditional licence, which will be extended for a further four years subject to the firm being able to meet certain

India to liberalise law firm website advertising 
The Global Legal Post, 2/24/14

The bar is planning to amend the regulation dealing with law firm advertising in March which will allow firms to include a variety of information on their websites. In 2010, the bar council planned to regulate the sites with special attention to foreign firms, but have not yet done so.

Phila. law firms building a larger presence overseas 
philly.com, 
2/22/14

Like other large law firms in Philadelphia and across the United States, Dechert is growing overseas, even as the number of its lawyers in this country has declined. Since 2007 the firm has added nine foreign offices, among them offices in Almaty, Kazakhstan; Dubai; and Frankfurt, Germany. One-third of the firm's 925 lawyers are in offices abroad; in 2008, fewer than 20 percent of its lawyers were.

Norton Rose opens in Brazil 
The Global Legal Post, 2/20/14

By opening up in Rio de Janeiro, Norton Rose Fulbright will reach coverage of three offices in Latin America and 55 offices worldwide.

EY acquires Shanghai law firm 
The Global Legal Post, 2/20/14

Accountancy giant is pushing into legal services in China through the acquisition of Chen & Co, founded in 1998 by Frank Chen.

Quinn Emanuel opens Brussels office 
The Global Legal Post, 2/19/14

The office is its seventh in Europe and is to be headed by Dr Nadine Hermann, head of the firm's European competition team.

Baker & McKenzie opens in Myanmar 
Baker & McKenzie, 2/18/14

The Yangon office will be the Firm's 16th  in Asia Pacific, further extending Baker & McKenzie's presence as the global law firm with the widest breadth and depth across the region. With the new office, Baker & McKenzie has 75 offices worldwide across 47 jurisdictions.

Baker & McKenzie Opens ‘New Frontier’ Office in Myanmar 
Bloomberg Law, 2/17/14

Baker & McKenzie LLP, the world’s second-largest law firm by revenue, opened an office in Myanmar to serve foreign investors entering an economy emerging from five decades of isolation. New York-based Herzfeld & Rubin and Philadelphia-based Duane Morris LLP, both smaller than Baker & McKenzie, opened Yangon offices last year.

Opening in China: The do’s and don’ts 
The Global Legal Post, 2/4/14

About one in three of the National Law Journal 250 had established offices in China by 2013. This article offers an overview of the requirements for the establishment of an office in China under the “Regulations on the Administration of Foreign Law Firms’ Representative Offices.”

Only global firms and 'super niche' to prosper, says DLA head 
The Global Legal Post, 2/4/14

Sir Nigel Knowles, joint global chief of DLA Piper, has predicted that only the 'truly global or super niche' will thrive in a future which looks likely to be changed by market consolidation.

January 2014

 Emerging markets offer richer pickings to City 
The Law Society Gazette1/30/14

Slower economic growth in established markets will restrict fee growth among City law firms in 2013/14, according to lobby group TheCityUK’s Legal Services 2014 report.  Emerging markets will offer potentially richer pickings, it predicts. The report, published today, presents evidence that the UK is the world’s leading centre for international legal services, though New York has the bigger domestic market.

UK leads the world for international legal services 
The Global Legal Post, 1/30/14

The UK is the world’s leading centre for international legal services according to TheCityUK’s Legal Services 2014 report published today. Whilst New York has the largest domestic legal market, the UK leads the way as the world’s most international law centre. Additionally, London is the world’s leading centre for all forms of dispute resolution, whether litigation, arbitration or mediation, with 4o per cent of governing law in all global corporate arbitrations English law.

Law Firms Eye Outposts In Africa, Latin America In 2014 
Law 360, 1/1/14

Law firms are turning their attention toward Africa and Latin America, where growing economies are inspiring more deals and investment in infrastructure and energy projects, as they consider expanding their practices overseas in 2014, attorneys say.

Singapore embraces ABSs to ‘keep pace’ with rivals 
The Law Society Gazette, 1/28/14

The Singapore Ministry of Law said the regime will be updated to accommodate firms wishing to adopt alternative business structures, with changes likely to come into force next year. But unlike in other jurisdictions with ABSs, the government will place a maximum non-lawyer employee ownership cap of 25% in new legal disciplinary practice models. The Ministry of Law  also confirmed that a new regulator, the LSRA, will be created to oversee all law practice entities. Existing regulatory functions performed by the Law Society of Singapore (for Singapore law practices) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (for foreign law practices, and registration of foreign lawyers) will be transferred to the LSRA.

SRA faces ‘timebomb’ of risk from foreign lawyers, says Italian who learnt from rule breaches 
LegalFuture, 1/28/14

An Italian lawyer has warned of a ‘timebomb’ of regulatory risk among foreign lawyers practising in England and Wales, and urged European law firms to ensure they understood what was required to comply with conduct rules.

Singapore: Committee proposes changes to regulatory system for lawyers, law firm 
Channel NewsAsia, 1/27/14

The way lawyers and law firms in Singapore are regulated could be changed following recommendations submitted to the Ministry of Law by a committee made up of judges and other members of the legal fraternity.  If implemented, a Legal Services Regulatory Authority would be established to regulate domestic and foreign law firms. The committee also proposed a common set of professional conduct rules to be overseen by a Professional Conduct Council and the same disciplinary process to apply for both Singapore-qualified and foreign-qualified lawyers. However, the committee proposed that when foreign-qualified lawyers face the disciplinary process, the committees and tribunals at every stage will include one foreign-qualified lawyer (about 20% of Singapore's 5,260 lawyers are foreign-qualified).

Luxembourg: International style 
The Lawyer, 1/27/14

Second-tier international law firms are joining the top players in Luxembourg as its stability and global outlook continue to attract big business.  Despite the increased competition, lawyers believe foreign firms entering the country is positive and that the trend is likely to continue.

Reed Smith launches in Kazakhstan with former Dewey duo 
The Lawyer, 1/21/14

Reed Smith has become the latest international firm to open an office in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana. Over the past year, a raft of international firms have expanded in this key central Asia market. White & Case and Dentons have both recently opened their second Kazakh office in Astana. In september 2013, Central and Eastern European firm Kinstellar launched an Almaty office with a 10-lawyer team from Dentons. 

Taiwan: Smart island 
The Lawyer, 1/20/14

International law firms are moving in to exploit the global hi-tech hub.  The Taipei 101 Tower is a landmark Taiwanere skyscraper, located in the commercial heart of the island’s capital city Taipei. It is well-known as Asia’s tallest building and for its dazzling New Year’s Eve fireworks displays. Increasingly, it also plays host to international law firms. 

DLA Africa group adds Algeria, Burundi and Namibia to roster 
The Lawyer, 1/17/14

DLA Piper has signed agreements with three African firms, expanding its Africa group network into Algeria, Burundi and Namibia. The additions bring the number of firms in the Africa group to 14, with countries covered including South Africa, Kenya and Botswana. Africa continues to be a focus for international firms. Late last year Eversheds and Hogan Lovells both expanded into South Africa, the former agreeing an association with Mahons and the latter merging with Routledge Modise. Meanwhile Baker & McKenzie hosted its first-ever conference for African law firms in London in a bid to deepen its ties with the continent.

Dentons, Imperial launch program for lawyers from abroad 
Legal Feeds (Blog of the Canadian Lawyer and Legal Times), 1/15/14

Internationally-trained lawyers must apply to the National Committee on Accreditation before they can practise in Canada. They normally have to sit exams and complete law school courses in order to obtain a certificate of qualification, which allows them to apply for admission to a provincial bar. Figures Legal Feeds obtained from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada show the number of certificates of qualification issued to foreign lawyers has risen to 3,612 in 2013 from 137 in 2003. The biggest proportion – 26 per cent — of last year’s certificates went to people from England, followed by 24 per cent from the United States, 14 per cent from Australia, 10 per cent from India, and five per cent from Nigeria.

Online LL.M.s Offer U.S. Law Study Abroad 
U.S. News and World Report, 1/14/14

Students can pursue the credential, which can help attorneys practice international law, from home. A master of laws in U.S. law can be a career game changer for attorneys outside of the United States. By exposing international lawyers to the basics of the American legal system, the degree can allow them to take on new clients, advance in their firm, call themselves an international lawyer and even take the U.S. bar in a few states.

Qatar: Gulf Stream 
The Law Society Gazette, 1/13/14

With its extensive natural resources and wealth, Qatar has become a magnet for international law firms. But can the tiny Arab state deliver a pipeline of profitable business in the long-term?

Duane Morris to Open Shanghai Office 
Bloomberg Law, 1/13/14

Duane Morris LLP is establishing a five-lawyer office in Shanghai through Duane Morris & Selvam LLP, its joint law venture in Asia, which will have an emphasis on facilitating outbound investment for Chinese corporations.

Law firms’ African expansion bodes well for continent’s economies 
Business Day – BDlive, 1/8/14

One way to work out how well Africa may do this year is to track the progress of law firm expansion in the past year.  South African and global law firms used 2013 to blaze a trail into Africa and the benefits of these moves, together with additional expansion, are set to flow through to economies.

CC Opens in Saudi with team of 30 
The Global Legal Post, 1/10/14

Clifford Chance has become the first international law firm to open up in Saudi Arabia - through a venture which is jointly owned with local lawyers.

Winston & Strawn to launch in Taiwan 
The Lawyer, 1/6/14

Winston & Strawn is set to launch an office in Taiwan after hiring a four-partner team from rival Washington DC firm Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner last August. The firm’s Taipei initiative will be headed by Washington DC based partner John Alison, who joined the firm from Finnegan along with three patent litigation partners last summer. 

Name Australia's Best Performing Stock - Hint: It's a Law Firm 
Lawfuel, 1/3/14

You got it in one.  Slater & Gordon, the ground-breaking law firm that was the first in the world to obtain stock exchange listing was also Australia's top-performing stock, rising 128 per cent on the S&P/ASX during 2013.  And while New Zealand legislative and Law Society thinking is that the addition of new forms of law firm ownership are unnecessary, the new-look Australian and UK firms are enjoying unprecedented growth opportunities.

December 2013

Iraq growth potential attracts lawyers 
The Global Legal Post, 12/30/13

Lawyers are among the businesses which are looking beyond the security risk to take advantage of the opportunities in Iraq.

US firms set eyes on Hong Kong disputes work 
The Global Legal Post, 12/24/13

Three US law firms - Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Milbank Tweed & Hadley and Morrison & Foerster - are among the international practices seeking to open or increase their litigation presence in Hong Kong.

China Watch – A Foreign Lawyer’s View from the Inside 
The Lawyer, 12/23/13

Beijing and Shanghai are not the only places where China’s legal market is thriving. … I have to admit, I was a little surprised by the concern expressed about competition from the foreign law firms in China for a couple of reasons: 1) the regional domestic firms and the foreign law firms in China occupy very different segments of the market, and 2) with only very rare exceptions, the foreign firms are not going to open up offices outside of Beijing and Shanghai anytime soon, probably not ever.  So even if the MOJ were to further open the market to the foreign firms (which is not yet on the horizon, although there is some early chatter to the effect that the top domestic firms in Beijing and Shanghai would not necessarily object), this would not directly impact the regional firms. 

Orrick poised to launch Africa practice 
The Global Legal Post, 12/20/13

US law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is to open its doors in Africa in 2014, as part of a strategy to serve Chinese organisations which are investing in the continent.

The Urge to Merge: Big Law Goes Global 
U.S. News and World Report, 12/19/13

Law firms are following their clients overseas, merging to serve a global economy.

US firm eyes Northern Ireland launch as it agrees law course deal with HBO 
The Lawyer, 12/18/13

US entertainment firm SmithDehn is hoping to launch its largest Europe office in Northern Ireland as it kicks off a part-time media law course in the region with client HBO.

English-language law degrees on offer at University of Dubai 
The National, 12/18/13

The course, unveiled on Wednesday, has been welcomed by local lawyers, who say they need better access to international practices.

Chinese firm expands to Chicago 
The Global Legal Post, 12/17/13

The Yingke Law Firm has opened a second office in the US, opening its Chicago office about 20 months after it opened up in New York.  The Beijing-based firm has 21 offices in the People's Republic and 14 outside.

Law firm Littler gets bigger overseas 
San Francisco Business Times, 12/16/13

Labor and employment law firm Littler Mendelson P.C. is expanding its international footprint with a push into Latin America.

British lawyers in Dubai: Money for old laws 
The Economist, 12/14/13

Hoping to become the Middle East’s legal hub, in 2011 Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) threw open its courts to disputes from any country, provided both parties agree to be bound by its decisions. The attraction is that the courts use the English language and operate in public under English-style common law… Well over half of all financing agreements in Dubai are already written using English law.  A more serious threat to British legal firms would be if “American law firms start to outcompete them”, according to James Martin, a lawyer at Linklaters based in Dubai until recently. Some American law firms, such as Cleary Gottlieb, have started to expand in the Middle East, and more will surely do the same.

A&O, CC among firms asked to reapply for Singapore local law licences 
Legalweek.com, 12/12/13

The first group of international law firms to be awarded Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences in Singapore are being asked to reapply for their permits if they wish to continue practising local law in the city-state.

Malaysia: open for business? 
The Law Society Gazette, 12/9/13

Malaysia is moving to open its domestic legal market to foreign firms. Liberalisation has been in the making since 2002. But long-awaited changes to regulations – chief among them new rules for allowing foreign law firms to open an office in the country, and form joint ventures with Malaysian law firms – are expected to come into force in 2014. Foreign lawyers broadly welcome this, but there are concerns about how the new rules will work.

Western firms sceptical about short-term impact of China's latest economic reform 
Legal Week, 12/6/13

International law firms with offices in China have broadly welcomed the country's latest attempts at economic reform, but remain sceptical about their immediate impact on the legal industry.

Singapore moots Asia-centric international commercial court  
globalpost.com, 12/3/13

Singapore on Tuesday said it plans to launch an international commercial court that will aid in settling an increasing number of cross-border disputes as Asia's economies boom. 

ABA ethics opinion sparks renewed debate over nonlawyer ownership of law firms 
ABA Journal, 12/1/13

The opinion addresses the narrow question of whether the Model Rules permit a lawyer to divide a legal fee with a lawyer in a jurisdiction that would allow the other lawyer to eventually distribute some portion of the fee to a nonlawyer. 

November 2013

Duo of IP firms join Myanmar rush 
The Lawyer, 11/25/13

Another two international firms have joined the growing rush into Myanmar, with UK IP firm Rouse and South East Asian firm Tilleke & Gibbins both expanding into the country

Anglo-Russian agreement pledges commitment to rule of law
Law Society Gazette, 11/20/13

The Russian Federation’s bar association and the Law Society have pledged their mutual commitment to the rule of law, human rights and access to justice in a memorandum of understanding signed this week. … On the provision of international legal services, the signatories pledge to ‘engage in ongoing and effective dialogue’ on the regulation of foreign lawyers in their respective jurisdictions, to share best practice, identify barriers and enhance mutual understanding.

Indonesian-US law firms form alliance
The Global Legal Post, 11/18/13

Indonesian firm Melli Darsa & Co has joined forces with US firm Squire Sanders to offer an international service to local clients.

Society aligns with CBI to promote UK legal services Abroad 
The Law Society Gazette, 11/13/13

The Law Society and business lobby group the CBI held an inaugural joint event last night calling on government to safeguard the UK’s pre-eminence in legal services in a ‘head-to-head’ battle with other jurisdictions.

Enter the Foreign Firms
Yahoo Malaysia News (Blog), 11/11/13

Foreign law firms and foreign lawyers will soon be able to practice foreign law in Peninsular Malaysia. Lee Shih tells you what you need to know about this potentially game-changing development. This is an updated version of an article originally published in the July-Sept 2013 issue of the Malaysian Bar's Praxis.

Foreign law firms carving out niche markets
The Korea Times, 11/8/13

Foreign law firms are expanding their presence here since the country opened its market one and a half years ago. They are increasingly representing Korean companies for litigations in overseas courts and helping them strike merger and acquisition (M&A) deals abroad. According to the Ministry of Justice, 16 foreign law firms are operating here, after getting licenses from the ministry.

Hong Kong moves towards LLP structures
The Global Legal Post, 11/8/13

International law firms may receive a warmer welcome in Hong Kong next year which is considering allowing lawyers to operate as Limited Liability Partnerships in 2014.

Peru Business Boom Provides Legal Boom
Latinvex (subscription required), 11/6/13

Peru’s legal sector sees growth in outbound business as well as growing local demand.

Foreign firms may flee Hong Kong if reforms go wrong way: top US lawyer
South China Morning Post, 11/6/13

Top US lawyer warns city's politics will be at the centre of international focus and foreign firms may move to rival cities Singapore or Shanghai.

Dacheng opens 9th office outside China
The Global Legal Post, 11/1/13

A leading Chinese firm has opened an outpost in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

King & Wood Mallesons SJB tie-up creates first Asia-based global firm
The Global Legal Post, 11/1/13

The new Kings & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin law firm is launched today as 'the first global law firm headquartered in Asia.

October 2013

Myanmar grants license to New York's Herzfeld Rose
The Global Legal Post, 10/29/13

The New York law firm has taken advantage of new legislation to open two offices in Myanmar.

Asia’s Allure
Lawyer’s Weekly, 10/28/13

Asia’s desirability as a destination for law firms shows no signs of abating, writes Stephen Moss. Over the next five years Asia is likely to grow at more than two times the pace of the developed world.  

Jakarta’s cold hand of protectionism
The Lawyer, 10/28/13

Expat lawyers in Indonesia may have to take ethics exam in local language. Unlike its neighbour Malaysia, which is slowly opening up its legal market, Indonesia is going in the opposite direction. 

Clifford Chance reprimand a lesson to global firms
Lawyers Weekly, 10/28/13

A corporate consultant has warned firms to take extra care when positioning themselves in certain markets after Clifford Chance was put on notice by the Singapore government for issuing misleading statements.

Malaysia bid for Shariah legal hub seen challenging
Gulf Times, 10/26/13

Malaysia, which pioneered Islamic finance more than 30 years ago, will face an uphill battle in its attempt to make itself an international centre for Shariah dispute resolution, say local and foreign law firms.

 Herzfeld Rubin Meyer & Rose is the First Licensed American Law Firm to Open in Myanmar
heraldonline.com, 10/25/13

Herzfeld & Rubin PC announced today that on July 29th, 2013, it became the first American law firm to open a law office in Myanmar, as well as the first U.S. investor in the professional services industry to hold a 100% ownership interest under the new 2012 Myanmar Investment Law.  The new law office, which is staffed by both American and Myanmar attorneys, is named Herzfeld, Rubin, Meyer & Rose Law Firm LTD (HRMR) and is located in Yangon, Myanmar.

HLS hosts International Bar Association panel on the Global Legal Profession (video)
Harvard Law School, 10/25/13

Thousands of international attorneys gathered in Boston in October to attend the week-long International Bar Association's 2013 Annual Conference. On Oct. 9. Harvard Law School's Program on the Legal Profession hosted one of the conference's featured events at HLS: "Preparing for Future—Changes in Structures, Technology & Regulation," a keynote address and panel discussions that focused on the future of the global legal profession.

China’s Ministry of Commerce establishes first formal panel
The Lawyer, 10/24/13

The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of China has launched its inaugural panel, with a total of 20 international firms and 18 Chinese firms winning spots. It is the first time the MOFCOM has established a formal legal panel, which consists of two sub-panel lists, international investment, and world trade organisation (WTO) and regional trade agreements (RTA) dispute resolution.

Canada, EU Reach Trade Pact
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, 10/24/13

Canada and the EU announced that they have reached an “agreement in principle” last week on a comprehensive bilateral trade pact linking two of the world’s largest economies. The deal would cover a market of over 530 million people, and is expected by some trade observers to serve as a possible template for future agreements - such as the EU’s negotiations with the US.

Malaysia unveils new arbitration rules as country gears up for liberalisation
legalweek.com, 10/24/13

The Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) in Malaysia has introduced a new set of arbitration rules just a month after foreign lawyers got the green light to advise clients in the country without having a local office. 

If you can’t beat Indians, join ‘em, says Sunil Lal
The Australian, 10/25/13

SYDNEY lawyer Sunil Lal appears to have found a way of tapping the Indian market for legal services without breaching that country's curbs on foreign law firms.

Singapore law minister criticises Clifford Chance over 'inaccurate' claims
legalweek.com, 10/22/13

In a response to a parliamentary question about foreign law firms operating in the city-state, Minister for Law K Shanmugam said claims made by CC and its local partner Cavenagh Law about CC's disputes practice "conveyed an inaccurate picture and should be stopped." … He referred to an article which quoted a CC partner as saying that it was "the first full service firm in Singapore offering litigation advice"… He said these could be read to mean that a foreign law firm can now practice litigation in Singapore, which would not be accurate.

Clifford Chance comes under fire from Singapore government for 'misleading clients'
The Lawyer, 10/21/13

Clifford Chance has come under fire in Singapore after the domestic government criticised the firm for misleading clients over its operations in the city-state.  

Two law firms chided for giving "inaccurate picture" of practice scope
Straits Times, 10/21/13

A top foreign law firm and the local firm it has tied up with have both been chided by the Law Ministry for presenting an "inaccurate picture" of their practice of litigation and other domestic law areas in the media and other publicity material.

South America “Untapped” by UK Law Firms
The Law Society Gazette, 10/21/13

UK law firms are 15 to 20 years behind where they need to be to take advantage of the economic growth and investment potential of South America.

 

Indonesia considers ethics test for foreign lawyers
The Global Legal Post, 10/17/13

 

The Indonesian advocates association, Peradi, is to decide by the end of this month if it will require foreign lawyers to take an ethics test. 

Indian firm plans Australian office openings
The Global Legal Post, 10/17/13

Insurance specialists Kaden Boriss - which has offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra - is actively looking to open in south and western Australia.

Foreign lawyers face Indonesia ethics test
The Financial Times, October 16, 2013

“If we wanted to protect our lawyers, we would not allow foreign lawyers to practice here,” said Mr Hasibuan, a high-profile lawyer who is defending Indonesia's ...

See all stories on this topic »

 Global commercial law market worth US$300 billion 
The Global Legal Post, 10/16/13

Sir Nigel Knowles, global co-chief executive of DLA Piper, estimates that the commercial legal services market is worth about US$ 300 billion and is 15 per cent over-supplied by lawyers.

 China: A Tough Market to Penetrate 
The Law Society Gazette, 10/14/13

As Chinese businesses expand investment overseas, UK-based international law firms have been turning in ever greater numbers to the Land of the Dragon. 

UK keen to see Indian legal sector open up: Minister 
Business Standard, 10/14/13

Britain today said it is hopeful of India opening up its legal sector to foreign law firms, including from the UK.

Chinese set to become legal language of the future 
The Global Legal Post, 10/11/13

Partners in law firms are predicting a more important role for the Chinese language in the legal world of the future.

Malaysia set to clear way for foreign law firms 
The Law Gazette, 10/7/13

Foreign law firms could open in Malaysia by next summer after laws liberalising legal services passed the lower house of the country's parliament.

See all stories on this topic »

 Malaysia softens foreign law firm admissions rules 
The Global Legal Post, 10/4/13

Foreign law firms are expected to be up and running in Malaysia following the announcements of new regulations and the passing of amendments to the Legal Profession (Amendment) Act 2012.

Progress on liberalisation of Malaysian legal services market 
Lawyer Monthly Magazine, 10/3/13

Following the latest talks between the Law Society and the Malaysian Bar Council and the Attorney General’s chambers in Malaysia, Malaysian Bar Council President Chris Leong has this week confirmed that progress has been made on liberalisation of legal services in Malaysia.

Indian law firms expand internationally 
BigLaw, 10/2/13

Indian law firms are moving into international markets, setting up practices abroad to service Indian companies in a range of international markets.

Indian firms go into foreign expansion mode 
The Global Legal Post, 10/1/13

With recent openings in Germany, the US and Greece, Indian law firms are spreading their wings to follow their clients abroad.

US is 'years away' from ABSs, says ABA president 
The Global Legal Post, 10/1/13

The new American Bar Association (ABA) president has said that the US is 'years away' from copying the UK by introducing ABAs (Alternative Business Structures) which allow non-lawyers to enter the legal market.

September 2013

South Korea: Seoul train 
The Lawyer, 9/30/13

The past year has seen an influx of international firms setting up offices in Seoul, but have they started reaping the benefits of being on the ground?

Indian law firms eye global play, set up offices abroad 
The Economic Times, 9/30/13

Indian law firms are increasingly competing in the global arena for cross-border deals and are now setting up offices in international financial centres such as Singapore and Dubai, while a few are going farther by opening branches in Atlanta, Beijing and even beyond.