Baker & McKenzie Sees More Litigation & Less M&A In Asia Pacific Region

The Reuters news service reports Baker & McKenzie representatives as saying….

Thet the firm expects to see stronger Asian demand for litigation and advice in areas such as restructuring, even as corporate business begins to slow amid the global economic downturn.

"In those areas, we will definitely be seeking to add talent," the firm’s Hong Kong-based Asia chairman, Poh Lee Tan, told Reuters.

The report goes on to say

Tan said bigger law practices were, in general, better able to ride out the economic slowdown, relative to investment banks, as legal disputes tend to rise in such periods along with demand for advice on compliance and corporate restructuring.

Business scandals also tended to increase during downturns as previously undiscovered problems surface, she added, citing the recent cases of alleged fraud involving U.S. financier Bernard Madoff and India’s Satyam ComputerServices (SATY.BO: Quote, Profile, Research).

For instance, Baker & McKenzie is currently investigating an alleged fraud at a recently acquired China unit of a large European multinational, which Tan declined to identify.

She said China remained a growth engine for Baker & McKenzie, one of the world’s top three law firms in terms of lawyers and revenue, as corporate activity in the infrastructure sector and M&As involving resources continued to be strong.