Reed Smith Richards Butler (Hong Kong)

The Legal Cheek View

Reed Smith is a global relationship law firm with more than 1,700 lawyers in 31 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Founded in 1877, the firm represents leading international businesses, from Fortune 100 corporations to mid-market and emerging enterprises. With around 1,700+ lawyers globally, Reed Smith is known for its experience across a broad array of industry sectors.

On New Year’s Day in 2008, Reed Smith merged with the Hong Kong operations of legacy firm Richards Butler, and now practises here under the name Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP (“RSRB”). Richards Butler had been established in Hong Kong since 1980 and the merger enabled Reed Smith to launch an office in the region and build its presence in the Far East.

RSRB has nearly 150 lawyers across its four offices in Asia: Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong. With about two-thirds based in Hong Kong, they provide legal advice on a wide range of practice areas with expertise in corporate, dispute resolution, banking & asset finance and property.

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Over the years the firm has completed numerous initial public offerings (IPOs) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and participated in the first Hong Kong listings of People’s Republic of China (PRC) enterprises. The firm advised on the structuring of complex international cross-border financings and advise on all aspects of Hong Kong property laws providing transactional, advisory and litigation support in relation to both commercial and residential properties. The firm has also represented a wide array of high net worth individuals, small businesses, banks, large multinational companies and the world’s largest private and publicly listed corporations on several of Hong Kong’s most significant and complex domestic, cross-border and multi-jurisdictional disputes.

In 2020 Reed Smith relocated its Hong Kong office from Alexandra House in Central to One Island East, Taikoo Place in Quarry Bay, one of the many glassy towers in the city’s up-and-coming business district. The firm’s reception is located on 17/F One Island East and there’s a model of a ship on display marking the firm’s long history advising the shipping and offshore industries. What’s more, the firm has an expansive pantry which overlooks Hong Kong’s hilly mountain-tops. There’s a chill-out area designed to look like an actual swimming pool(!) complete with tiled benches to dive into. Phone booths and a nursery room to facilitate the working mothers can also be found in the office.

The firm takes on roughly six to eight trainees each year who rotate through four six-month seats during the training contract. Trainees will be directly supervised by partners. RSRB has a learning & development team so expect to undertake regular training seminars and workshops both as a trainee and beyond. RSRB offers both summer and winter vacation programmes for law undergraduates who are in their penultimate year of study or other students who are looking for a training contract to start two years after their placement. There are approximately 12 summer and eight winter placements available each year. The placements are typically for a three-week period in one of the firm’s practice groups. Students will be supervised by partners and work closely with their associates and trainees to see what working in RSRB is really like.


Training Contract 2025

Applications close 31/07/2023


First year trainee salary Undisclosed
Second year trainee salary Undisclosed
Newly qualified salary Undisclosed
PCLL grant Undisclosed

General Info

Training contracts 8
Latest trainee retention rate Undisclosed
Offices 31
Countries 10
Minimum language requirement English, Cantonese and/or Mandarin

The Firm In Its Own Words