Morning Briefing: Strong growth predicted for UK; Law firms rehearse anti-trust raids in China

Positive outlook for 2015 says UK's Law Society… law firms in China prepare foreign clients for possible anti-trust raids… MJ Hudson expands to Hong Kong… and NZ lawyers are mostly under 44 …..

Morning Briefing: Strong growth predicted for UK; Law firms rehearse anti-trust raids in China
Law Society predicts growth of legal sector to near pre-recession levels
The UK’s Law Society new August forecasts expect the rate of growth in real turnover of the UK legal services sector to continue and increase in 2014 and 2015, with growth in 2015 likely to be near to pre-recession levels. The forecast is for growth in real turnover of 3.8 per cent in 2014, jumping to 4.9 per cent in 2015. Growth in net exports next year is predicted to be 7.9 per cent with advanced and emerging markets providing the boost. However the figures are assuming a growth in household real incomes increasing by 2 per cent, which may yet prove overly optimistic.
Law firms rehearse anti-trust raids in China
First thing in the morning is a time for a coffee and checking emails and social networks, not for being raided and questioned by an elite squad from China’s anti-trust enforcement agencies. However, for many companies operating in the country, these dawn raids are becoming a real prospect as China’s strict anti-trust laws see more companies come under suspicion. Law firms including Baker & McKenzie and Norton Rose Fulbright are preparing clients for the possibility of a raid. China’s anti-monopoly law was introduced in 2008 but agencies have been stepping up their enforcement and their training so companies that could be at risk need robust legal advice and training in how to deal with such events. As the authorities have wide-reaching powers to seize documents and data, question employees and ignore legal privilege, law firms training will frequently involve role-playing a raid so employees are fully prepared for the worst.  
MJ Hudson expands to Hong Kong
London and Jersey firm MJ Hudson are pushing forward with plans to expand their Asia-Pacific practice by opening a new office in Hong Kong, headed by Simon Fraser who joins from Ogier but knows the HK market well having spent over a decade there previously. The new office will focus on the firm’s main client base in the finance sector including hedge funds that increasingly have a presence in Hong Kong.
Most NZ lawyers are under 44
Information prepared by Statistics New Zealand for the New Zealand Law Society shows that over 55 per cent of the country’s lawyers are aged 44 or under. For women, the age issue is even more striking, with 71 per cent in the lower age bracket compared with 43 per cent of men. The Law Society information shows that women make up 57% of lawyers who have been in practice for 20 years or less. However, just 2% of lawyers in practice for 40 years or more are women. The largest group of female lawyers is the 25-29 year olds, making up 19.7 per cent of all women lawyers. For men the largest single age group is the 60-69 year olds. While 4.3 per cent of male lawyers are over 70, just 0.5 per cent of female lawyers are in that age group.

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