The wrong side of the law

Wall Street securities law firms are losing out in Asia to their less glamorous country cousins.

Fancy lawyers at elite Wall Street law firms are having a tough time of it in Asia these days. But while the conservative white-shoe firms pack their bags and head home, a new breed of bolder US firms are doubling their efforts to crack the Asian market for legal services.

Jones Day, a firm which traces its routes to Ohio, is one such upstart. The firm has poached three partners in ex-Japan Asia this year - a fair number for a firm with around 20 partners in Asia-Pacific. The latest of these is Jeff Maddox, a securities lawyer drafted in from Clifford Chance's Hong Kong office. Jones Day tends to focus on corporate...

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