2023 Legal & Compliance Market Update

2023 APAC Legal & Compliance Market Update

2023 APAC legal and compliance market update

APAC has experienced a buoyant, candidate-led market across legal and compliance. Despite the global pandemic, we have seen generous salary increases and sign-on bonuses to support this. Many companies now have hybrid working policies and this has become a retention tool (especially for millennial and Gen Z candidates). We have seen firms that do not offer flexible hybrid policies struggle to attract candidates.

We foresee continued hiring growth in legal and compliance across APAC in 2023, though the incoming economic uncertainty raises doubts for more senior-level candidates to make moves. China’s new data privacy laws have driven high demand for onshore compliance/data privacy counsels in the region who are able to support the Chinese market.

Six hiring trends across APAC


Global regulators, led by the EU, have largely shaped the data privacy framework since the inception of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) in 2018.

Additionally, rapid technological advancements and hybrid working policies across APAC have added to the increased demand for data privacy roles. Evolving to become all-encompassing in skillset, from policy, advisory and implementation support for new regulations, finding qualified candidates with the necessary skillsets within the industry continues to prove challenging.

We expect demand to grow in the coming months as businesses continue to transform working practices and evolve digital skills.

China also recently updated its data privacy laws in 2021, which impacts all organisations with a presence in China.


We’re seeing an uptick in roles focused exclusively on ESG legal and compliance and this can largely be attributed to the twofold increase in the number of ESG policies in the region over the past five years, according to the Goldman Sachs 2022 report. More policy means increased visibility into corporate disclosure and around climate reporting, carbon pricing and fund requirements. This has led to more dedicated resources for ESG reporting.

We’ve seen more roles where ESG-oriented tasks in the legal and compliance space require up to 50% of the candidates’ work scope to include these disclosures and research.


Budding investments in Singapore around family offices and asset and wealth management have driven demand for legal and compliance professionals in this space. Since legal counsel became strategic advisors during the COVID-19 pandemic, their roles have been elevated to encompass new policies and establish new procedures in line with changing financial priorities and requirements. This includes prioritising and managing portfolios that are environmentally and socially conscious.

Check out our 2022 Singapore Family Office Market Report.


In fund management and legal and compliance, hiring talent into Hong Kong has proven challenging for multiple reasons. Between expatriates choosing to leave Hong Kong to struggles around relocating candidates from abroad, labour markets are incredibly tight. This has led to Hong Kong candidates receiving higher salary increases when moving jobs compared to previous years.

Flexibility and hybrid working models have been helping to attract talent in the region.


Legal and compliance hires are in demand since asset managers are diversifying their portfolios to expand their WFOE mutual fund, joint venture wealth management or applying for a renminbi (RMB) license. There is huge demand for bilingual data privacy lawyers who can interpret Chinese data privacy regulations as well as effectively manage both the Chinese regulators as well as international stakeholders.

Having data privacy counsel has become essential in China with the Personal Information Protection Law and Data Security Law that both came into effect in late 2021.


Japan’s recent reopening in October of 2022 has caused a bigger delay in bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic than other APAC countries. These closures meant the hybrid working model has been a top concern, with hiring managers finding difficulty gaining legal and compliance workers from the middle of the year onwards. For global firms, the talent pool for bilingual candidates has been an ongoing challenge. Hiring managers are feeling the pressure and fear of losing headcount going into 2023, which would inevitably impact business’ bottom lines.

Recent Placements


European Asset Managers

APAC Head of Legal

Head of Compliance, Hong Kong

Regional Legal Counsel

Asian Hedge Funds

General Counsel

Head of Compliance

US PE Fund

Regional Regulatory Compliance

US Alternative Asset Manager

Regulatory Compliance

US Asset Managers

Regional Head of Compliance

Greater China Regulatory Compliance

Global Asset Manager

APAC Counsel

Global Banks

VP, Equities Compliance

VP, Corporate Banking Compliance

Global PE Fund

Greater China Regulatory Compliance

Boutique Asian Fund Manager

Regulatory and Investment Compliance


Global Investment Banks

MD, APAC Chief Compliance Officer

MD, APAC Head of Wealth Management Legal & Compliance

Global Real Estate Investment Manager

Chief Compliance Officer

US Bank

Legal Counsel, Data Privacy

Global Asset Managers

Head of Compliance, Singapore

Associate Director, Legal

US listed Fintech Firm

APAC Head of Compliance

Asian Securities Firm

Head of Compliance

Family Office

Director, Compliance

Global Private Bank

VP, Private Banking Compliance

European Asset Managers

Senior Compliance Manager

Legal Counsel, Wealth Technology

ESG Compliance


Senior Legal Counsel

US Investment Bank

Compliance Manager


Global Asset Managers

Chief Compliance Officer, Mutual Fund

Chief Compliance Officer

Senior Legal Manager

Senior Legal Manager


Senior Manager, Anti- Bribery & Corruption

Global Investment Banks

Chief Compliance Officer

VP, Compliance

Asian Asset Managers

Head of Compliance

European Asset Manager

Senior Compliance Manager

Global PE Fund

VP, Corporate Legal

US Bank

VP, Compliance


Legal & Risk Director

Luxury Goods

Legal Counsel

Key contacts

The demand for legal and compliance talent will continue to grow both for the foreseeable future – and beyond. Speak with our experienced consultants today to learn more.


Yeo Suan Wei

Director, Legal & Compliance

+65 6513 2573


Andy Zhi

Director, Financial Services Practice

+86 21 6080 0608

Sophia Sun

Director, Legal / Finance Practice

+86 21 6080 0624


Nicolas Rumebe

Director, Head of Financial Services

+81 90 3814 1932

Kayo Hayashi

Associate Director, Legal & Compliance

+81 90 3475 9788


Sonny Wong

Associate Director, Legal & Compliance

+852 3589 6804

Download the full PDF version here.​


Suan Wei Yeo, Director, Profile, A WilsonHCG Company


January 2023

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