Asia Pacific 150: HSF overtakes Bakers as biggest international firm in the region

The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 reveals that newly merged Anglo-Australian firm Herbert Smith Freehills has taken over Baker & McKenzie as the largest international firm in Asia Pacific by lawyer headcount.

Asia-Korea

The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 reveals that HSF employs a total of 1,130 lawyers, 890 of whom come from legacy Freehills – across its 11 offices in Asia Pacific, slightly more than Baker & McKenzie’s 1,084.

Ashurst, which only had three offices back in 2009 in Asia, has surged to become the third largest international firm in the region with 906 lawyers, largely thanks to its tie-up with Australia’s Blake Dawson in 2012.

Bakers, having just celebrated its 50th year in the region, however, continues to enjoy the largest footprint in the region with 14 offices. In that sense, DLA Piper and Norton Rose come second, each with 12 offices a piece.

The Lawyer’s research shows there are now 9,207 lawyers sitting in the top 50 international firms in the Asia Pacific. Some 80 per cent of of those 9,500  are at the offices of the top 20 firms in the region, 7,359 in total.

US firms have a broader footprint in the region, but only by a slight margin. In the top 50 there are 26 US firms, 20 English, two Anglo-US and one each of Anglo-Australian and Anglo-German.

At the top of hierarchy, nine of the top 20 firms are US-based, seven are English, two are Anglo-US while the Anglo-German Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Anglo-Australian Herbert Smith Freehills round out the list.

To access more information about The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 click here

Top 10 international firms by lawyer numbers

Source: The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150
Rank Firm Total lawyers

1

Herbert Smith Freehills

1,130

2

Baker & McKenzie

1,084

3

Ashurst

906

4

Norton Rose

729

5

DLA Piper

645

6

Clifford Chance

375

7

Allen & Overy

357

8

Linklaters

300*

9

Mayer Brown JSM

234

10

Jones Day

210

Note: * figure is estimated