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  #17011 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2022, 06:54 PM
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there should be a way to call out toxic directors and partners. there's otherwise no check against their behaviour. what do you all think.

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  #17012 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2022, 08:46 PM
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This is a bit of a trivial pet peeve but do you get extremely irritated by some law firms' extremely large and obnoxious email signature blocks? Containing unnecessary info, graphics etc.

Some of these are single images or graphics so they're also not possible to trim off.

I notice that some juniors always include the full sig block for each and every email they send. Why can't they follow their partners and not bother to use a sig block at all? Or a simple text based one.

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  #17013 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2022, 09:07 PM
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This is a bit of a trivial pet peeve but do you get extremely irritated by some law firms' extremely large and obnoxious email signature blocks? Containing unnecessary info, graphics etc.

Some of these are single images or graphics so they're also not possible to trim off.

I notice that some juniors always include the full sig block for each and every email they send. Why can't they follow their partners and not bother to use a sig block at all? Or a simple text based one.
They can't control it. It's set by the firm's tech department.

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  #17014 (permalink)  
Old 14-06-2022, 10:02 PM
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there should be a way to call out toxic directors and partners. there's otherwise no check against their behaviour. what do you all think.
Just quit la. There are many abusive partners in sinkie law firms.
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  #17015 (permalink)  
Old 15-06-2022, 12:02 AM
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The pie is not quite as you describe. You can think of the market for transactional work in Singapore as split into three flavours: (1) a multi-jurisdictional transaction whose main governing law or jurisdictional nexus is not SG but may have a small SG nexus, (2) a multi-jurisdictional transaction whose main governing law or jurisdictional nexus is SG and (3) a purely SG transaction, big or small. In turn:

(1) - The main limiting factor for SG firms here is that they only do SG law work. As such, their only role in such transactions is to be SG local counsel, and the fees for such work are quite small. The international firms are obviously equipped to be lead transaction counsel on such matters (and these files are where the crazy fees come from - think 10 mil+ in fees), and they are basically just competing among themselves for these mandates.

And even on the local SG counsel point, in the past 15-20 years or so, many international firms have come into the local market, have hired many of (and imo the most capable) locally trained SG associates and they are now more than able to handle SG local counsel work. And I think you would be surprised to know that B4 and international firm quotes for local SG counsel work are actually very close, and the international firms are getting a bigger and bigger share of this pie as time goes on. Hence there is quite a bit of squeeze on the local firms for SG local counsel work under (1).

That being said, local counsel work is a steady but comparatively minor revenue stream for B4 or international. What these firms want and need are major multi-jurisdictional files (think billables in excess of a million SGD minimum) where they are leading transaction counsel, which brings us to (2).

(2) - Some of the corporate teams in the local firms are equipped to handle this type of work, and there is a delicate balance between WP and AG and the international firms in this category. It's probably about 50-50 where it's an international or local firm running the show, but the thing about this category of work is that there really isn't very much of it, mainly because SG law is still not favored on the international stage for major transactions. I am optimistic this might change in the future, but this is the current reality.

(3) - The big deals in this category go to WP or AG and the rest of the corp firms pretty much just get the bottom feeder stuff, with an occasional bone being thrown to R&T or SLB. There really isn't any way for the international firms to get in here because this is the true bread and butter of local firms and their quotes are waaaay too low. The international firms simply cant compete with the sweat shops for this work because they actually want to pay their associates fairly.

So from the above, you can see that the local firms and international setups are really not in direct competition most of the time, except for SG counsel work under (1) and (2), which are not really big pies to begin with. The pie is getting significantly bigger in general for (1) in recent years, but the local firms really have no way of vying for the increased work because they are limited to SG law.
Genuinely grateful for this insight. I suppose the squeeze is mostly felt in the bucket of LOCAL counsel work in relation to (1) (as you mention, LEAD counsel work in (1) was never for the taking for local SG law firms anyway).

My point was never to compare the profitability or capabilities of B4 with internationals, but to highlight that there is a secure type of work (bucket (3), and to some extent, (2)), in which A&G and WP really dominate, without much threat from internationals in the future. This pie is not large, and anyone outside of A&G / WP are fighting for scraps, but it's big enough for the A&G / WP equity partners to make a tidy profit, especially when you consider the constant stream of SG law work from the government and government linked companies.

Glad you added much nuance to the discussion!
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  #17016 (permalink)  
Old 15-06-2022, 08:00 AM
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there should be a way to call out toxic directors and partners. there's otherwise no check against their behaviour. what do you all think.
Partners and Of Counsels get their positions through massive hard work.
Just gotta tough it out
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  #17017 (permalink)  
Old 15-06-2022, 11:28 AM
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Is blackoak a good firm if I wanna do R&I?

I noticed frm their website that many of their assocs in the photos are no longer around. I s their turnover high?
It is a good place if you value freedom, breadth of work, especially as a junior lawyer. Unlike the Big 4 (or bigger places in general), working in a boutique like BlackOak requires its juniors to carry out higher order functions that typically are the purview of more senior lawyers in bigger firms.

That being said, being in a boutique like BlackOak is not suitable for everyone, especially if you are someone that works better in a structured environment. The best way to put it would be that you learn different things in a boutique versus in a bigger firm.

I heard that BlackOak pays really well (especially for junior positions), even better than the Big 4.
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  #17018 (permalink)  
Old 15-06-2022, 11:45 AM
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Ultimately, the survivors in the legal industry will be the international firms, B4 and Chinatown firms. The international firms will take a generous slice of the pie, followed by B4 and the scraps will be left for the mid-sized firms.

The Chinatown firms will still be around as they are never competing for the same pie as those above, but a "niche" pie filled with cheapskate clients. But they will survive as their overheads are low.

The mid-sized firms will be slowly eliminated as they are only getting the scraps and they can't afford to lower their fees due to their high overheads.
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  #17019 (permalink)  
Old 15-06-2022, 12:34 PM
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Does anyone know what the typical junior associate salary bands are for mid tier mid-sized firms like Harry Elias Partnership, CNPLaw, K&L Gates Straits, Morgan Lewis Stamford, Withers Khattarwong, Bird & Bird ATMD and Duane Morris & Selvam?

Have the recent Big 4 salary increases spurred a similar adjustment in payscales?
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  #17020 (permalink)  
Old 15-06-2022, 01:34 PM
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Does anyone know what the typical junior associate salary bands are for mid tier mid-sized firms like Harry Elias Partnership, CNPLaw, K&L Gates Straits, Morgan Lewis Stamford, Withers Khattarwong, Bird & Bird ATMD and Duane Morris & Selvam?

Have the recent Big 4 salary increases spurred a similar adjustment in payscales?
The bulk of the firms have gone international and are paying intl rates. They wont die out like the poster above thinks. Rather it is the big4 and the local firms with no tieups that will die out
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