Asia Pacific 150: International vs local

Revealed: the firms with the strongest representation in the region, whatever their origins

Five of the top 15 largest Asia Pacific firms by lawyer headcount have their roots in the UK and America, led by Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) with 1,130 lawyers, followed by Baker & McKenzie and Ashurst, according to research into more than 150 firms carried out by The Lawyer (see Top 50 chart). Click here to access all the information on Asia Pacific firms.

While Chinese firm Yingke may have 2,224 lawyers– double the size of HSF – many international firms only started drifting east in the past decade or so, planting flags in China, Korea, Singapore and beyond.

The Lawyer’s research has revealed the geographic reach of those international firms compared with their local competitors, examined the breakdown of female and male partners for the first time, and looked at relationships among the largest international and local firms. 

Reaching out 

The top 10 Asia Pacific firms operated 275 offices in the Asia Pacific region between them in 2012. Australia’s Slater & Gordon clearly had the widest reach with 70 offices. China’s Dacheng was next with 47, followed by Chinese rival Yingke with 35. 

In comparison, Baker & McKenzie led the international firms in terms of geographical reach, with 14 offices, followed by Norton Rose and DLA Piperwith 12 each. 

And if you haven’t got your copy of The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 yet, what are you waiting for