Company Profile

SD Legal is a boutique headhunting firm focused on the legal sector, providing opportunities for job seekers and hiring managers alike.

We have two main teams covering the APAC region. The Private Practice team focuses on qualified or soon to be qualified lawyers who want to develop their career within a law firm framework, we can facilitate Associate to Partner level moves. The In-House team offers lawyers a career path in a commercial setting. We have relationships with a diverse range of industries.

We also offer our network excellent market insights such as exclusive jobs, market trends and salary benchmark surveys from a regional perspective.

Nathan Smith

Managing Director | In-House (Legal)

Nathan Smith is a highly trained and experienced In-House Legal & Compliance Recruiter, based in Asia for over 15 years and covering key markets across the APAC region.

As a team, we have a number of exclusive client relationships predominantly including MNC’s, SME’s, Funds and Family offices. This network is built on foundations of successful hiring and industry recommendations.

We consistently work on roles including: General Counsel, Legal Director, Senior Legal Counsel and Regional Counsel; and have further successful experience including but not limited to: Head of Compliance, Trade Compliance, Employment Lawyers and IP specialists.

Key Hubs include: Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Sydney and Melbourne

Other Hubs include: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Guangdong

Mobile: +65 8777 9713

Nathan's Experience

Global General Counsel, Strategic Legal Advisor

I have worked closely with Nathan for several strategic recruiting initiatives in China (both Hong Kong and PRC) and Singapore - the process, execution and result for each has consistently been of the highest calibre. Nathan demonstrates a nuanced understanding of an organisation's needs and identifies standout candidates tailored to meet these - which he does professionally and tirelessly. In summary: he's highly recommended.

Associate General Counsel, Greater Asia and Greater China Markets, Listed Technology MNC

Nathan sets the high benchmark in professional recruitment; a great "can do" attitude, strong services delivery and has the in-depth sound knowledge of the client's bespoke requirement. Nathan is particular on quality of candidates which sets him apart from other recruiters. Thank you Nathan for the good services we have been privy to. To your great success ahead.

Group General Counsel, Singapore Conglomerate and MNC

Nathan is a diligent and resourceful headhunter. He selects candidates carefully and builds strong relationships with the hiring company and potential candidates. I am pleased with Nathan’s level of service and would recommend him.

Group General Counsel, Leading International Hotel and Hospitality Group

Nathan’s knowledge of market, market trends and access to talent pool is impressive. He has the innate ability to identify and pick out winners that have added great value to our legal team. Nathan moves at incredible pace as well which makes the recruitment journey seamless and exciting!

Gareth Dowse

Managing Director | Private Practice (Legal)

Gareth Dowse represents International Law Firms and Lawyers in APAC including candidates looking to relocate to the region.

We have successfully represented Associates, Counsels and Partners with securing new roles in Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Dubai and Australia.

Gareth has a relationship-focused approach, giving both client and candidate a tailored experience.

Our network is built on longstanding relationships and referrals.

Mobile: +852 5228 6542

Gareth's Experience

Senior Associate, Derivatives, Magic Circle Firm

Gareth offers an exceptional recruitment experience - he is professional, diligent and communicative. He provides excellent guidance throughout the recruitment process and is consistently available to assist in any way. His straightforward and highly responsive approach makes him a real asset to candidates and firms, and he is highly attuned to the SEA legal market. Gareth's in-depth knowledge, expertise and professionalism make him an excellent and highly recommended recruiter.

Partner, Asset Finance, Silver Circle Firm
(formerly Associate at a U.S. Big Law Firm)

Gareth was instrumental in helping me secure an associate position with a top tier white shoe firm. His strong connections with employers, professionalism and industry expertise gave me a decisive advantage in securing the role. Gareth is approachable, personable and reassuring - traits which make you feel you're in good hands. He is an absolutely stellar recruiter, and you can't go wrong with Gareth!

Associate, Corporate, Magic Circle Firm

Gareth was very friendly, encouraging and professional throughout the entire recruitment process. I was highly impressed by his professionalism, diligence and excellent knowledge about the field, as he constantly shared with me important interview tips and preparation skills. He was also very responsive in providing great advice to all my questions. It has been a real pleasure working with him and I would definitely recommend Gareth.

Counsel, Dispute Resolution, Offshore Firm

Gareth is a true superstar in the field. He is always knowledgeable about the field, is approachable, friendly and highly organized. Gareth always acts with the utmost professionalism and is someone I would highly recommend.