Morning Briefing: Baker & McKenzie bolsters Singapore team

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New Singapore principal at Baker & McKenzie
Baker & McKenzie’s Singapore member firm Wong & Leow has strengthened its capital markets team with the appointment of Chen Yi Pong as principal. He joins from the capital markets group at Wong Partnership and has twelve years experience.
Hogan Lovells appoints new energy partner
Hogan Lovells has added energy partner Alex Cull to its global infrastructure, energy, resources and projects group. This follows the arrivals of IERP partners Alexander Dolgov in Moscow and Joe Kim in Tokyo. Cull will also be a member of the firm's Energy and Natural Resources Group. He eHe hH    has been based in Asia for the past 15 years and will join from the Singapore office of Norton Rose Fulbright
Struggling firms are targets for partner raids
With increased competition putting pressure on law firms larger predators are adding to the struggle. A report in the Wall Street Journal says that partners at firms that are finding the current legal services climate tough going are often the target for headhunters from larger rivals. When partners are tempted away the journey for the firm they leave behind becomes even rockier. Experts say that firms will look at the financial reports of smaller rivals to assess who may have partners looking to leave a sinking ship.
UK law business increases revenue
A new report from PricewaterhouseCooper shows recovery in the UK legal services sector after a period of lean times. Too many firms chasing too little business during the economic downturn had hit revenues hard but these latest figures reveal the 80 per cent of the law firms surveyed seeing growth in revenue; the best figure since 2008. Recovery in the economy and M&As in the law business have led to the more optimistic reports.
China set to announce reforms
China’s Communist Party is talking about reform in the country’s legal system this week in a bid to quell unrest about a system not always seen as fair. The theme of the party’s conference is ‘the rule of law’ and it’s expected that there will be some moves to cut government influence to some extent, although there is no suggestion of an independent judiciary. There is increased recognition that an unfair legal system will hold back economic growth but, apart from giving some additional responsibility to local judges, there seems to be little likelihood of and great changes.

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