Asia Spotlight: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

hong kong

BCLP's real estate smarts are central to its Asia practice, but there's much more on offer for trainees in the Hong Kong office...

Firm overview

Locations: Hong Kong & Singapore


Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner was formed in 2018, but the history of our founding firms dates back more than 140 years. From our roots in St. Louis, Missouri, and London, England, our firm has built a global heritage that encompasses many milestones along the way. Here in Asia we have had a local presence for more than 20 years.

Key practice areas/sectors

We can offer trainees exposure across a range of departments/industry sectors. We have three pillars of expertise (Corporate and Financial Transactions, Litigation and Investigations and Real Estate) and we act for clients across multiple sectors such as real estate, infrastructure, energy & natural resources (with a focus on renewable & sustainable energy), financial services, sports & entertainment and food & agribusiness.

View the firm's rankings in the Chambers Greater China RegionChambers Global, and Chambers Asia-Pacific guides.

Firm culture

We are wholly committed to promoting diversity and creating an inclusive and inspirational working environment for our employees, our most important asset, to enable our people to make the most of their particular skills, qualities and points of difference.

Strategy and future

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, formed by the combination of Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton Paisner, is structured in a way few other law firms are – as a fully integrated international team that provides clients with clear, connected legal advice wherever and whenever they need it.

Working as one team, we bring to our clients a range of integrated capabilities, including some of Asia’s most active M&A, real estate, financial services and litigation and investigations practices.

We continually invest our time into analysing and understanding the trends and opportunities in the Asian markets. Equally, we are as committed to developing a deep and lasting relationship with our clients to understand their objectives and strategies as they grow and evolve.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner brings enduring value to our client relationships and we’re here to help our clients compete around the world, or just around the corner.


Hong Kong

Location: Our office is located at the hub of the new Island East business district. Taikoo Place is located across the road from Quarry Bay MTR station exit A.

Local lawyer headcount: 25

International lawyer headcount: 1,342

Strategic focuses  

Our Hong Kong office is focused on providing international and local legal services. A significant proportion of the team is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. The majority of lawyers are Hong Kong qualified, with many also qualified in other jurisdictions including Australia, England and Wales, New York and PRC, all with extensive knowledge of the cultural and legal systems that affect business and investments in Asia.

We support clients who operate, invest in or finance high-value capital assets ranging from infrastructure, data centres, logistics, hotels and retail to major real estate, supporting them on a broad range of legal matters, including corporate transactions, international dispute resolution with a strong focus on contentious construction matters and general commercial.

Real Estate & Infrastructure

Our award winning multi-disciplinary real estate and infrastructure team in Hong Kong brings together highly experienced locally based practitioners with deep expertise in Hong Kong real estate transactions, urban development, social and economic infrastructure and public procurement. Our Hong Kong team is part of a global team of legal professionals, which is recognised as one of the world’s leading real estate legal advisory practices.

The built environment is at the heart of what we do, locally and globally. We advise on all aspects of the real estate life-cycle from conception through to funding, financing, construction, leasing and occupation. Our track record in complex and challenging international markets enables us to arrive at solutions quicker than less experienced advisors.

Litigation & Investigations

Our team includes a broad mix of litigators experienced in handling disputes across a wide variety of industry sectors, able to offer clear and concise advice on a full range of issues. Our team has advised plaintiffs and defendants in numerous cases in Hong Kong, and has detailed experience of all aspects of court procedure, having acted on some of the largest and most complex matters throughout Hong Kong.

We also regularly advise our clients on all aspects of the arbitration process, from the drafting and negotiation of an arbitration agreement to the ultimate enforcement of an award locally or internationally. Our experience covers both domestic and international arbitration as well as other forms of alternative dispute resolution. We pride ourselves on our ability to use our knowledge and experience to help our clients achieve a successful resolution of disputes.

We also regularly act for clients in matters related to competition and antitrust, data protection and privacy law as well as employment law.

Corporate & Finance Transactions

We combine the breadth of our Asian practice and resources with a keen understanding of the global transactional environment. We provide corporate and legal services for Asian matters in areas including joint ventures, mergers & acquisitions and complex cross-border transactions. Complementing our corporate legal services, our firm offers comprehensive advice on employment, competition, data privacy & security and general corporate matters and commercial contracts. Our clients include local and international companies doing business in Greater China, as well as Asian companies doing business throughout the US, UK, Europe and Middle East.

On the finance side, we represent all types of entities including lenders and borrowers, funds and a variety of other non-bank financial institutions in finance, refinance and special situations. Our team possesses a formidable depth of sector-specific experience, enabling us to provide strategically sound and commercially meaningful advice on the most complex transactions.

Work highlights

  • Acting for one of the three pre-qualified bidders on all legal aspects in respect of the preparation of its tender submission to the Hong Kong Home Affairs Bureau for the right to design, build and operate (DBO) the US$4 bn Kai Tak Sports Park development - a landmark project for Hong Kong. 
  • Advising an infrastructure investment fund on the development and subsequent divestment of a percentage of its interest in three Taiwanese offshore wind projects (circa 2GW).  
  • Advised a rail operator on O&M agreements in relation to a light right rail project in the Greater Bay Area.
  • Advised a Hong Kong Statutory Authority on the preparation and procurement of a PPP for the build, operate and transfer of an arts, culture and exhibition project including multi-purpose venue, hotel, office and retail as part of a master planned urban development project.
  • Advising an international manufacturer on its sale and leaseback transaction regarding a 20,725 square metre factory site in the PRC with a state-owned enterprise as buyer.
  • Advised a prominent Hong Kong property developer on various Hotel Management Agreement contracts and various COVID-related matters for a branded hotel in Shanghai.


Opportunities at BCLP

Entry requirements (domestic candidates)

  • Typical profile of new associates: hard working, enthusiastic, and willing to learn
  • Preferred law schools: Any
  • Grade requirements: 2:1 or above at degree level
  • Application structure: Online Application Form, Online Test, First Stage Interview. Once on the Vacation Scheme, you will undertake a Case Study & Presentation and Final Stage Fee-earner interview

Salary and benefits

  • First year: HKD 528,000pa
  • Second year: HKD 564,000pa
  • NQ: HKD 906,000pa

Sponsorship and scholarships: We will cover the fees for your JD and PCLL. In addition, we will also provide an annual maintenance grant of to cover any costs during your studies.

Recruitment contact: Isabel Elsey, Senior Emerging Talent Advisor