Acritas, now part of Thomson Reuters, announces the Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2020. This is Acritas’ first Index to be published which includes opinions since COVID-19 took hold across the world – and its impact on the results is clear. In what has been a tumultuous year for law firms, those who adapted by leveraging their key offerings for clients have been able to weather the storm.
King & Wood Mallesons and Baker McKenzie dominate the top of the Index, with just two points separating the law firms. These two powerhouses, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, have been able to draw on their own unique propositions and strategies to gain legal buyer trust, whether that’s through service quality, professional delivery or firm reputation. King & Wood Mallesons reigns supreme, with strong growth in top-level work consideration and overall usage.
Wang Junfeng, Global Chairman of King & Wood Mallesons commented; ‘At KWM we are building a top tier international law firm from Asia. Our clients continue to seek growth in international markets and our role is to leverage our unique platform and expertise to help them do business in the region and beyond. This means maintaining our commitment to quality and professionalism, while continuously evolving our offering through investing in talent and technology.’
This year the Index has also seen the importance of navigating international markets. David Johnson, UK Account Director at Thomson Reuters, elaborates; ‘As countries have had to close their borders and international travel ground to a stand-still, firms have really had to collaborate in new and innovative ways to provide a consistent service to clients. And the benefits are clear. Our recent Sharplegal research showed that when a single client uses five or more of a law firm’s offices, that law firm can expect to receive on average 33% more of the client’s legal spend.’
Looking at the rest of the table, Herbert Smith Freehills holds third position for the seventh consecutive year. Buyers are drawn to a combination of the firm’s high quality, technical excellence and a commitment to understanding clients’ business needs and pressures.
While COVID-19 has been hugely disruptive to operations, early signs are that the need for legal support within China is stronger than ever and set to increase. Unsurprisingly, therefore, China also plays a crucial role in shaping this year’s Index. One of the largest full service law firms in China, Zhong Lun has improved on last year’s incredible growth, to now sit in fourth position. The biggest mover in this year’s Index, Dentons, has climbed thirteen positions to fifth place, a move driven by significant increases in brand favorability and consideration for top-level work in China in the last 18 months.
Elsewhere, Kim & Chang holds sixth position for the third consecutive year, with JunHe, sitting in seventh. Allen & Overy have had a very strong year, moving up to eighth overall. This growth is underpinned by Hong Kong’s financial institutions. Mori Hamada places ninth, while the only other Magic Circle firm to sit in the top 10, Linklaters, has also seen good growth, and sits in tied tenth position along with Nishimura & Asahi.
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