SSQ Law Firm HR Seminars in Beijing and Shanghai/Annual Lateral Move Report

Author: Shawn Chen

SSQ, the global legal market consulting and talent solutions company, held two law firm HR seminars on 16th and 23rd February, in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively.  A total of over 40 HR and Operations Managers from international and Chinese law firms’ Beijing and Shanghai offices attended the events held in the Beijing China World Hotel and the Shanghai Jing’An Shangri-La Hotel.

Betty Chen, our Associate Director and Co-Head of China Private Practice Search, presented the key data of our annul law firm lateral move report, as well as sharing our findings and predictions on the latest market trends. According to SSQ research, there were 97 lateral moves in mainland China at partner level in 2022, with the majority (82) moving into Chinese law firms and 54 moves happening among Chinese law firms themselves. Partner hires made by foreign law firms continued to decline to a historically low number of 13.

At associate level, 22 law firms used SSQ in 2022 and hired 48 associates in total. Consistent with our findings prior to COVID, over half of these SSQ associate hires were junior and middle level, and were paid an annual fixed salary below half a million (CNY). Of the 10 associate hires earning an annual fixed salary over CNY 1 million, all were hired by foreign law firms’ China offices, as opposed to Chinese law firms.

For more details and findings please download the full SSQ report here An overview of law firms’ lateral moves in China (2022)

Shawn Chen, our China Partner; Kenneth Tung, our Asia Senior Advisor; Emily Deng, our Co-head of In-House Legal Search; Cherry Zhang, Manager in our Private Practice team, and Hillary Huang, consultant in our In-House talent team, jointly presided over the Beijing and Shanghai seminars. In addition, they were pleased to introduce SSQ’s various service lines in China, including Law Firm Strategy Consulting, In-House Legal Function Consulting, Legal Community Development, Legal Talent Search, Retention and Assessment, and On-Demand Solutions (download our latest SSQ China Brochure).

A number of senior law firm HR and Operations Officers shared their extensive knowledge of their own firms’ latest challenges and findings in relation to lateral hire activities. Experiences were shared in a number of seminars which were extremely helpful for all attendees, including SSQ’s consultants, to reflect and plan on how to hire and retain legal talent in 2023 and beyond. We were greatly encouraged by these valuable discussions and will continue to organise similar events in future.

If you have any questions on our Annual Report, or these events, please reach out to your usual SSQ contact.


SSQ Asia Offices

Beijing: 7/F, China World Office 1, 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Beijing

+86 10 6505 6399


Shanghai: 30/F, Tower 2, Jing An Kerry Centre, 1539 Nanjing Road (West), Shanghai

+86 21 6167 2833


Hong Kong: 16/F Two Chinachem Central, 26 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong

+852 3626 9155


Singapore: Level 19, Singapore Land Tower, 50 Raffles Place, Singapore 048623

+65 6632 3576