Hong Kong is a dynamic metropolis offering a unique blend of Eastern and Western culture. Hong Kong is a well-run and established financial centre, offering a gateway to the East – a market which continues to outstrip all others in its growth and potential for further expansion. Offshore law firms are rapidly expanding to meet the onshore demand for offshore services.
All the leading UK and US firms have a presence in Hong Kong, as do the offshore firms. Most of the firms focus on corporate, banking, funds, litigation and insolvency, although there are a number of full service law firms.
Clients are predominantly international financial institutions and global multinational companies. Hong Kong law is based on the English common law system, making it easy for lawyers from Commonwealth countries to make the transition. Increasingly the firms are looking for lawyers with Chinese language skills and the firms themselves tend to be a mix of Hong Kong and Chinese nationals and expats.
Lawyers are very well paid in Hong Kong, although expats no longer receive the kind of cost of living allowances paid in previous years.
Income tax is also capped at 16% and housing allowances can also be claimed, resulting in lawyers take home being significantly better than their counterparts in the UK.
Lawyers work comparable hours to UK City law firms and their clients expect a high standard of legal service. However, outside the office there are 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 from which to explore the entire region, with China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand only a short flight away.