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Despite a raging pandemic, in the first half of 2020, the Hong Kong IPO market outperformed last year, boasting 64 new listings with funds raised reaching $87.5 billion, according to PwC. Based on KPMG data, at the end of the third quarter, Hong Kong ranks third globally in terms of IPO fundraising and number of listings in the year to date. In part, this upward trajectory is due to the trend of U.S.-listed China-based companies carrying out secondary listings in Hong Kong, and this trend is continuing to gather steam.
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COVID-19 has impacted the legal industry globally, and offshore law firms have not been immune. However, they have used the past several months to embrace change and transform themselves, and as a result, are well-placed to tap into the potential of the year ahead. 
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What will law firms of the future look like? For new graduates and students looking to enter the industry, the answer to this question will have a serious impact on their future. For educators too, the pandemic has led to changes in teaching with a greater emphasis on agility and continuous learning.
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Singapore’s Harry Elias Partnership (HEP) has had a more eventful year than most – from the end of its merger with Eversheds Sutherland to the recent loss of the firm’s founder, and then, of course, the COVID crisis is still present. Philip Fong, managing partner of the firm, talks about the past few months, and offers his thoughts on what’s next.
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While the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly taken centre stage around the world over the past few months, in the UK, Brexit is still very much going ahead, whether businesses are truly prepared or not.
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When the pandemic hit, law firms went into a state of emergency as they looked to mitigate the worst of the impacts. Now, as the conditions begin to evolve and economies look to re-open, firms are carefully weighing up what the picture may look like in the longer term. Assisting them are legal networks, which are working hard to ensure their members can operate at their best.
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Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy has advised Bangkok Bank, Bank of Ayudhya and Standard Chartered on the Kingdom of Thailand’s 30-billion-baht ($965 million) dual-tranche sustainability bond issuance.
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COVID-19 has derailed business plans both global and domestic, and cast a long shadow of uncertainty across businesses. For offshore law firms who typically work nimbly with their colleagues across jurisdictions, the impacts have been twofold — with both their clients, and their offices to consider.
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Six months into the pandemic, law firms in Asia are still looking for ways to cope with COVID-19 and its impact. While firms are rolling out various initiatives to ensure smooth working and keep morale up, there is the realisation that things will never be the same.
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COVID-19 has transformed homes into offices, removed commutes and turned the humble kitchen table into a place of business. The pandemic is drastically turning work culture on its head in almost every way possible.