Hong Kong

FOTY 23

In this issue, we are excited to present our annual showcase of the standout firms of the year for 2023. These firms have demonstrated exceptional commitment, innovation, and service to their clients, setting the bar high for legal excellence across various practice areas and regions. But, before we dive into celebrating these remarkable firms, let us take a moment to reflect on the evolving landscape of legal practice.


 

Jump to the winning firms.

Firms Of The Year China Firms Of The Year Philippines Firms Of The Year Thailand
Firms Of The Year Hong Kong  Firms Of The Year Singapore Firms Of The Year UAE
Firms Of The Year Malaysia  Firms Of The Year South Korea Firms Of The Year Vietnam

The Rise of AI

In recent years, the integration of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), has revolutionised the legal landscape, promising efficiency gains and transformative impacts on traditional legal processes.

Beyond contract analysis, AI technologies are increasingly being employed across various facets of legal practice, including legal research, due diligence, document automation, and predictive analytics

Harvey, supported by the OpenAI Startup Fund and leveraging cutting-edge OpenAI and ChatGPT technology, made significant gains into the legal market in 2023. Harvey, built on a version of Open AI’s latest models enhanced for legal work, represents a transformative leap in AI-driven legal solutions. Through its natural language processing, machine learning, and data analytics capabilities, Harvey has the potential to automate and enhance various aspects of legal work, including contract analysis, due diligence, litigation, and regulatory compliance. While the output requires careful review by lawyers, Harvey could accelerate the process by generating insights, recommendations, and predictions based on vast volumes of data.

Allen & Overy (A&O), announced a partnership with Harvey in March 2023 to empower A&O’s global network of over 3,500 lawyers across 43 offices with efficiency, quality, and intelligence in legal content generation and access. During A&O’s trial period of testing a beta version of Harvey in 2022, A&O lawyers engaged with Harvey, posing around 40,000 queries for their day-to-day client work.

Similarly, in 2023, PwC partnered with Harvey for exclusive access, amongst the “Big Four” consulting firms, to a transformative AI platform designed to automate and enhance various facets of legal work. Through this strategic alliance, PwC aims to equip its network of over 4,000 legal professionals across 100+ countries with advanced AI capabilities to address a diverse range of legal challenges.

One of the key benefits of this collaboration is the enhanced capabilities it offers to PwC’s legal professionals. With access to leading generative AI technology through Harvey, PwC’s legal team will be equipped to deliver innovative solutions across contract analysis, regulatory compliance, claims management, due diligence, and broader legal advisory and consulting services. By developing and training proprietary AI models, PwC aims to create customised products and services tailored to address specific client needs within Legal Business Solutions.

Last month, Harvey announced that its platform has been deployed on Microsoft

Less than 20% of the respondents indicated that their workplace currently has a ChatGPT policy in place

Azure and is now available on the Azure Marketplace. The collaboration between Microsoft and Harvey will make the platform more accessible to law firms, in-house teams and professional service providers around the world.

The adoption of Harvey by A&O and PwC underscores a broader trend within the legal industry towards embracing AI as a strategic asset in driving operational efficiency and delivering enhanced client service. Beyond contract analysis, AI technologies are increasingly being employed across various facets of legal practice, including legal research, due diligence, document automation, and predictive analytics.

Law firms and professional services firms are recognising the immense potential of AI to augment the capabilities of their legal departments, enabling them to tackle complex legal challenges more effectively and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive market. With AI-driven solutions like Harvey, firms can leverage data-driven insights, optimise resource allocation, and mitigate risks more proactively, ultimately enhancing the value proposition for clients and stakeholders.

However, the adoption of these technologies is not without risk, of which legal professionals are acutely aware. These include the tendency for AI platforms to generate inaccurate results and expose sensitive personal and commercial data. Against this backdrop, we reached out to our community of in-house counsel to identify the uptake of AI in their practices.

Over 500 in-house counsel across 19 countries voted on the IHC Firms of The Year survey.

We asked our community whether they currently had a policy in place regarding the use of ChatGPT within their business. Intriguingly, less than 20% of the respondents indicated that their workplace currently has a ChatGPT policy in place. This indicates a prevalent gap in formalised policies regarding AI usage within private companies at the moment, potentially reflecting a cautious approach or a lack of awareness about the implications of AI integration.

Despite the relatively low number of organisations with formal policies, almost 30% of respondents answered positively when asked whether they had personally used ChatGPT for work. This suggests a degree of individual initiative and experimentation with AI tools, despite the absence of comprehensive organisational guidelines.

Lastly, a similar percentage (151 respondents) revealed that they have been asked to advise internal stakeholders on using ChatGPT for work. This underscores a growing interest and recognition of AI’s potential within legal departments, with professionals being called upon to provide guidance and expertise in navigating AI integration.

As we analyse these survey results, it becomes evident that while there is a growing interest in AI adoption within legal departments, there are also significant hurdles to overcome, including policy development, data privacy considerations, and ensuring alignment with organisational objectives.


Shogo Osaka

Amy Ng

Insights from Legal Leaders: Navigating the AI Landscape

In our exploration of the evolving role of AI in legal practice, we engaged with two prominent legal leaders, Shogo Osaka, MD Legal at FedEx Hong Kong, and Amy Ng, General Counsel at CBRE in Hong Kong. Their perspectives shed light on the current challenges, opportunities, and future prospects of AI integration within legal operations.

When it comes to integrating AI technologies into legal operations, FedEx Hong Kong takes a cautious stance. Osaka notes that while they have not yet incorporated GenAI technologies, they are cognisant of the need to uphold confidentiality, data privacy, and intellectual property considerations. This cautious approach reflects their commitment to adhering to robust information security policies and procedures.

Discussing challenges encountered during AI implementation, Shogo highlighted the importance of identifying suitable use cases and justifying the cost of subscriptions. Additionally, he underscored the need to address concerns regarding the quality of AI outputs, particularly in legal drafting. Despite these challenges, he recognises the significant potential of GenAI to enhance various legal tasks, provided legal professionals verify final outputs and retain accountability.

Legal teams can still offer strategic partnership, experience and directions to businesses and management and with AI’s help and assistance in the future, legal services will become more valuable

Looking to the future, Shogo envisions a landscape where user-friendly GenAI tools tailored for legal professionals become more prevalent. He anticipates that widespread adoption of AI within in-house legal departments may prompt a re-evaluation of fee structures, challenging the traditional hourly-rate base fee arrangement.

Amy Ng offered a nuanced perspective on AI integration within CBRE’s legal operations. Whilst the team is not currently using AI to generate legal content, they are actively exploring various contract management and authorisation matrix approval systems. In some countries, the legal teams are actively using these systems, which have proved to be highly beneficial to legal operations. CBRE’s notable benefits from AI primarily lie in contract management and certain automation systems. This underscores the practical applications of AI in streamlining repetitive tasks and improving efficiency within legal departments.

Additionally, CBRE is actively spending time and energy to develop automation systems in order to terms of track litigation process, legal cost management as well as their engagement with external counsels around the world.

Acknowledging the efficiency of AI technology, Amy highlights the challenges and potential unknowns associated with its utilisation in legal operations. This cautious approach underscores CBRE’s commitment to navigating the complexities of AI integration while ensuring alignment with organisational objectives.

Looking ahead, Ng emphasised the continued significance of AI in the legal profession. She believes in working collaboratively with AI to enhance legal services, highlighting the potential for legal teams to provide strategic partnership, experience, and direction to businesses, ultimately adding value to the organisation.

“Legal teams can still offer strategic partnership, experience and directions to businesses and management and with AI’s help and assistance in the future, legal services will become more valuable.”

The insights provided by Shogo Osaka and Amy Ng offer valuable perspectives on the challenges, opportunities, and future prospects of AI integration within legal operations. Their cautious yet forward-thinking approach reflects a commitment to leveraging technology effectively while prioritising strategic alignment and value creation within their respective organisations.

Firms of the Year 2023

In order to identify the IHC Firms of the Year 2023, our outreach extended to our network of in-house counsel, inviting them to participate in the In-House Community survey. Over 500 respondents shared their insights and they represent a wide array of industry sectors such as aviation, banking, energy & natural resources, financial services, insurance, manufacturing & engineering, retail, and technology, media & telecommunications. These in-house counsel offer a rich tapestry of perspectives. This diversity enables us to glean valuable insights and recognise top-performing law firms spanning the entire spectrum of legal services.

Based on the nominations and testimonials of the in-house counsel surveyed, and supplemented with independent research from In-house Community, we are proud to announce our IHC Law Firms of the Year 2023 across China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, UAE, Singapore and Philippines.

Boasting impressive wins across seven areas in Thailand (including Anti-Trust & Competition, Banking & Finance, Employment and Projects & Energy) is Chandler MHM. Demonstrating their commitment to client service, the firm was also awarded as a Most Responsive Domestic Law Firm in Thailand.

Chisako Takaya and Jessada Sawatdipong, Chandler MHM Limited

On these results, Jessada Sawatdipong and Chisako Takaya, co-managing partners of Chandler MHM commented: “We would like to express our sincere appreciation for the outstanding vote of confidence we have received from in house counsels. We are immensely proud to be recognised as Law Firm of the Year across so many areas of our practice in Thailand.

In Vietnam, LNT & Partners also showcased a superb year of commitment to their clients by being selected as winners in six categories including Corporate and M&A, International Arbitration, and Litigation & Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year. The firm was also selected as a Most Responsive Domestic Law Firm of the Year in Vietnam.

In Vietnam, LNT & Partners also showcased a superb year of commitment to their clients by being selected as winners in six categories including Corporate and M&A, International Arbitration, and Litigation & Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year. The firm was also selected as a Most Responsive Domestic Law Firm of the Year in Vietnam.

Baker McKenzie also impressed the IHC community by being selected as a Most Responsive International Law Firm of the Year in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand,

Singapore and the Philippines. Shook Lin & Bok in Singapore also reaffirmed their commitment to providing exemplary legal services by being selected as a Law Firm of the Year in six categories.

With an impressive 10 wins across varied disciplines is VILAF in Vietnam and 11 wins is Villaraza & Angangco in the Philippines. Managing Partner of Villaraza & Angangco, Sylvette Y. Tankiang, expressed her gratitude to the IHC community: “We are humbled to receive the IHC Firm of the Year award for the Philippines across multiple practice areas. This underscores the firm’s relentless pursuit for legal excellence and it is a testament to our team’s hard work and unwavering dedication to their craft. We will strive to keep raising the bar and continue to consistently provide exceptional legal services.

We are delighted to share with our community the full list of the winners in this edition of IHC Magazine, and to acknowledge those law firms that received notable in-house recognition who have been awarded Honourable Mentions. Congratulations to all the firms and legal teams listed here that have made a positive impact with the in-house community over the past 12-18 months.


Firms Of The Year China 

Firms Of The Year Hong Kong 

Firms Of The Year Malaysia 

Firms Of The Year Philippines

Firms Of The Year Singapore

Firms Of The Year South Korea

Firms Of The Year Thailand

Firms Of The Year UAE

Firms Of The Year Vietnam

Tags: 2023, Firms of the Year, Law Firms of the Year 2023, Legal Practice
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