BigLaw hiring in Seoul was very slow prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, especially for associates, and nothing has changed. Strategic Korea-focused partner searches are still active and we are currently helping two US firms with their partner-level needs.
Japan’s official numbers (just over 2,000 confirmed cases, 59 deaths as of 3/31) are far fewer than South Korea’s and China’s. As early as this past weekend, malls were “bustling”.
However, after declining to implement nationwide containment or widespread testing measures, Japan is, unfortunately, experiencing a spike in positive cases. Were mitigation and testing strategies put off in hopes that the Olympics could proceed as planned? One can speculate, but it looks like Japan is heading for some challenges.
Foreign nationals from the U.S., China, South Korea, and several European countries are banned from entering Japan. As of 3/31, Japan has yet to declare a nationwide lockdown.
Japan was already experiencing an economic slump before the worst of the Coronavirus hit, and Tokyo BigLaw hiring on both the associate and partner fronts have remained quiet for some time.
Australia seems to be a few weeks ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to the COVID curve, yet they are not letting that “head start” stop them from adopting similarly drastic measures to stop the spread. Bars, beaches, and restaurants have been shuttered as of mid-day on Monday, March 23, with restaurants only open for take-out. The government has banned all overseas travel by Australian citizens as well as shut the borders to non-citizens.