King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has been named Asia Pacific’s number one law firm brand, according to Acritas’s 2020 Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index.
KWM replaced Baker McKenzie at the top of the index, in part because of its efforts to adapt to the Covid-19 environment, the survey found.
Baker McKenzie – which tops the Acritas global brand index – dropped to second place in the index, followed by Herbert Smith Freehills, which was a non-mover in third for the seventh consecutive year. Survey respondents rank firms by attributes such as service quality, top-level work consideration and overall usage.
Wang Junfeng, King & Wood Mallesons’ global chairman, said: “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.”
Chinese firm Zhong Lun climbed three places to fourth, while Dentons was the biggest mover in the index, jumping 13 places to fifth. Other Western firms entering the top 10 this year included Allen & Overy, which rose seven places to eighth, and Linklaters, which edged five places higher to finish joint 10th alongside Japanese firm Nishimura & Asahi. Kim & Chang (6th), JunHe (7th) and Mori Hamada (9th) complete the top 10.
David Johnson, UK account director at Acritas parent company Thomson Reuters, said: “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.”
The Asia Pacific index is the first Acritas study since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is based on responses from 530 senior general counsel at organisations in Asia Pacific with annual revenues of at least $50mn, and a further 382 responses from in-house counsel at global companies that do business in the region.