Peers Vote Baker & McKenzie Asia-Pacific’s Top Law Firm

Peers Vote Baker & McKenzie Asia-Pacific’s Top Law Firm

UK-based market research firm Acritas has released its second annual Asia-Pacific Law Firm Brand Index detailing regions top performing law firms.

The Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2015 is the result of input from 363 senior legal counsel with annual revenues over US$50 million in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as  315 buyers from outside the region with international legal needs in key Asia Pacific jurisdictions.

The unprompted responses from the 363 senior general counsel was conducted across all industry sectors and comprised four questions:

  • Their awareness of and favourability towards law firms
  • Their consideration of firms for top-level litigation and major M&A
  • Multi-jurisdictional litigation and deals
  • Their use of firms for high value work.
Last year's and this year's Asia Pacific 20 top law firms by AcritasAEC News Today
Last year’s and this year’s Asia Pacific 20 top law firms by Acritas

The Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2015 found interesting developments in the Top 20 that suggests that “these leaders would do well to keep a close eye on as the legal market continues to expand and clients become increasingly sophisticated in their needs and purchase of legal services”.

According to Acritas Chicago, USA-based Baker & McKenzie secured the title of Asia-Pacific’s top law firm because of its strategic foresight to build its footprint in the region and its commitment over the years to build strength in depth.

“The firm leads the way as the most considered law firm in the Asia-Pacific region for multi-jurisdictional litigation and deals from clients in the region, its network across the Asia-Pacific and further afield, and its intrinsic connection with the US. These have all combined to make the firm an obvious ‘go-to brand’ for many of the region’s legal buyers, particularly for international work types”, Acritas said when announcing this years list.

Bruce Hambrett, Baker & McKenzie’s Asia-Pacific regional chairman, said: “We are extremely honoured to be cited again by Acritas as the region’s strongest law firm brand, particularly at a time when the market for legal services is becoming increasingly competitive.”

“We have been in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 50 years and continue to grow our practice by aligning ourselves to those markets where our clients are investing. We strive to stay ahead of the curve by anticipating our clients’ needs and developing new practice areas. This recognition validates our global strategy and client-driven approach to our work and service delivery,” he said.

While King & Wood Mallesons dropped from its Asia-Pacific’s top law firm ranking last year to second ranking in the Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2015, it remains a dominant firm for high value work in the region, along with Baker & McKenzie.

Although Uk/Australia-based Herbert Smith Freehill retained its ranking as Asia-Pacific’s third top law firm from last year in the Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2015, it saw its score drop from 70 to 56.

Norton Rose Fulbright a Rising Star

Chicago-based Baker & McKenzie ousted King & Wood Mallesons as Asia Pacific's top law firm in the <em>Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2015</em>File Photo
Chicago-based Baker & McKenzie ousted King & Wood Mallesons as Asia Pacific’s top law firm in the Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2015

Of particular interest is UK-based Norton Rose Fulbright which was the fastest rising brand in the top 20 Asia-Pacific top law firm this year increasing from seventh position in 2014 to number four position this year.

Wayne Spanner, managing partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Australia said, “It is incredibly gratifying to see the success of our global strategy reflected in this year’s Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index.

“Climbing to fourth is a strong endorsement of our global strategy and positioning and the industry sector strength that we have been able to deliver not just around the world but most importantly in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Kim & Chang, a South Korean law firm which gained 14 points to finish as Asia-Pacific’s fifth top law firm in the 2015 Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index after being  in sixth place last year was exuberant over the increase. “Our clients always come first, so we are especially honoured to be recognised by our clients as the top South Korean firm in the Index”, said Mr Hoin Lee, a senior foreign attorney.

Other firms moving up the rankings in this year’s list of Asia-Pacific’s top law firms include Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, while Linklaters and Allens law firms both dropped point this year.

Lisa Hart Shepherd, ceo of Acritas said, “our data shows an increasing need for firms that offer international workflows, both between the different Asia Pacific markets and outside of the region.

“There is also tremendous immediate opportunity for strong local independent firms in the region. For markets where international firms are able to compete, most cannot offer the same depth of market knowledge and experience that local independent firms possess, and this will take many years to build.”


Download a copy of the main report of Acritas’ of the Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2015




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Sandra Ani

Sandra Ani

Journalist at AEC News Today

Sandra Ani completed a BA in Communication Art at Stamford International University Bangkok, a three month internship at Brand Now Public Relations, Bangkok, and a five month internship at The Establishment Post.

She was previously a contributing writer to the now defunct student newspaper Swapter.

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