Asia’s gems revealed in all their glory

Today we’re launching our newest and arguably most ambitious research project. Just as The Lawyer UK 200 has become the leading benchmark for private practice firms operating in the UK market,

Catrin Griffiths

Today we’re launching our newest and arguably most ambitious research project. Just as The Lawyer UK 200 has become the leading benchmark for private practice firms operating in the UK market, The Lawyer AsiaPac 150 makes available for the first time information on the leading firms in the Asia Pacific region, comprising the top 50 international firms and the biggest 100 firms with headquarters there.

The research consists of a free-to-air version in print and online and a paid-for report with detailed analysis on each of the firms in the 150. Our Asia editor Yun Kriegler, a Mandarin speaker, has had unprecedented access to these practices. Financial transparency is in its infancy in many Asian jurisdictions, but for many clients and work-referrers the key metric is depth of resource; we have partner and office information on every firm, plus information on history, partnership culture, clients and strategy. This research does not exist elsewhere, and it’s part of The Lawyer’s move into the provision not just of news but of business information. Find out more on TheLawyer.com/asia150.

In the full report there is one particularly revealing chart, part of which is published on pages 26, 28 and 30. This is the combined ranking by lawyer numbers of the top 100 local and top 50 international firms. Chinese-heritage practices take six of the slots, and the only UK firms to make the top ten – Herbert Smith Freehills, and Ashurst – are there by their Australian mergers. In fact, the only Anglo firms in the AsiaPac combined top 20 outside the Aussies are Baker & McKenzie, Norton Rose and DLA Piper. You might argue that having hundreds of lawyers
in Australia does not make you a success in Singapore, but AsiaPac is coalescing as a region.

We’ve written about the giants – Yingke and Dacheng, but unless you work closely with Chinese businesses you may never have heard
of the big legal names. What’s the difference between Zhong Yin and Zhong Lun? How does Grandall measure up to Jun He? 

If this is the Asian century,then best to find out what the lawyers are up to.