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Mid-year market update: Hong Kong, Legal
As traditional banking businesses grapple with the existential threat posed by tech players established and new, lawyers with experience in advising technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) and general commercial matters have been in high demand so far this year. With competition across product and service offerings, payment platforms and currency options (crypto or Fiat) fierce, having the best in class legal advice is key.
Consequently, consumer and corporate banking in-house counsels are being tasked with engaging in various tech-related projects or initiatives, with a particular focus on digitisation. Several institutions have planned new legal headcounts specifically to focus on this, targetting candidates from TMT businesses and law firms who have strong, up-to-date technology practices. Professionals here can enjoy salary increments in the region of 15% when moving role.
There has also been demand for lawyers with strong M&A transactions advisory experience for asset management, regional investment managers and private equity businesses. Vacancies range from junior (2 PQE) to senior (12+ PQE) level, but the observed trend this year is replacement headcount with more junior hires. Lateral moves here are at salary increase increments of 5-10%.
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