Hong Kong remains one of the world’s leading international public offering (IPO) centres for global businesses, particularly Chinese companies. This provides the mainstay of legal work for the majority of local and international law firms in the market.
Historically, the Hong Kong legal market has been dominated by the large UK, US, and offshore law firms but, the market is evolving quickly with a number of the major Chinese law firms now building a significant presence in the city.
The law firms in Hong Kong tend to focus on:
- Corporate IPO
- Corporate M&A and private equity
- Banking & finance
- Real estate
- Litigation & arbitration
These days Chinese language skills and/or Hong Kong qualification are very important for practising lawyers but law firms do hire lawyers without the latter in banking & finance, restructuring & insolvency, funds, and international arbitration. This is particularly true of the offshore law firms if you are qualified to practice in England & Wales or another common law jurisdiction.
Typically very high with around no more than 16% in tax. At the international law firms in Hong Kong a 3PQE lawyer can earn around HK$100,000 per month and a 5PQE lawyer can earn around HK$120,000 per month.
Non-Hong Kong residents require an employer to sponsor them for a visa.
“Work hard, play hard” probably most accurately describes the ethos of Hong Kong. Outside the office there is a wonderful array of shops and restaurants to explore as well as excellent sports and leisure facilities.
Whilst Hong Kong rightly has a reputation for being a dynamic and busy financial centre, less well known are the fantastic beaches and national parks, which occupy more than 80% of the land area of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is also a wonderful starting point for visiting the rest of Asia.