As the market for corporate transactions burgeons in Asia, we are seeing the benefits of language skills, particularly Mandarin Chinese, Korean and Japanese for candidates and their career paths. Mid-level to Senior Associate candidates returning from Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan are very highly regarded in most major corporate and commercial law areas and in many leading firms opportunities which are not advertised are created for high quality candidates who also speak and draft in Mandarin.
Tier one Australian practices including King & Wood Mallesons and Freehills have recently advertised Sydney based roles with Mandarin Chinese and/or Korean language as a definite advantage for their positions. Minter Ellison has confirmed that with the strength of their growing presence in China, not only in Hong Kong, but Shanghai, Beijing and now Mongolia, they are seeing a growing need for language skills across the corporate and project areas. This need is present not only overseas but within Australia too, as their Asian-based clients look to invest here.
Language skills alone do not of themselves create advantage; lawyers also need to demonstrate strong academic credentials and quality transactional experience. However, language skills combined with a strong deal sheet or project list are certainly enabling lawyers to command a premium in this market and this combination often enables talented ambitious lawyers to fast-track their careers.
If you are returning from a leading firm in Asia or have been working locally and wish to further utilise your language skills and gain access to the highest quality work in our region, get in touch with one of our Senior Consultants on +61 2 9266 2900 as soon as possible for a confidential discussion about the legal market.