Below is the initial post-event news story.

To read a full write up of the e-Ceremony and analysis, click here

For the full winners list, click here


This year, we had to rise to the technical challenge of delivering the In-House Community Counsels of the Year Awards (#IHCawards2020) online as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. So, the first thing we quickly had to learn was how to provide a virtual platform where more than 180 people from around the world could gather together for one hour in a ‘live’, safe and conducive environment.

We’d like to thank all those that participated in the awards process, and especially those that trusted our ability to provide a stimulating online awards experience and joined us on May 28. For those of you who missed it, well, you had to be there! We are proud that our awards programme was shared with people in the following jurisdictions: Abu Dhabi, Australia, China, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, the UK, US and Vietnam.



The judging process for the 2020 awards straddled the coronavirus crisis as its shadow swept from Asia to Europe and the Americas. So, while the submissions were all completed in the latter part of 2019 (the deadline for submissions was January 2020), our panel of judges for the in-house teams were clearly attracted to those in-house counsel team submissions that encouraged empathetic working cultures and working practices that would prove resilient through the crisis — and especially to those innovations that are proving positively significant to society at large. This trend will be even more pronounced when in 2021 we come to look at the activities of individual lawyers and also departments during and post-crisis.

For the second year running, our official Awards charity was CC-TDI (Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute), and the e-Celebration was generously supported by Hughes-Castell and Macey & Sons. This year’s awards have raised approximately US$ 5,400 for the charity so far.

A full write up of this year’s Awards will appear in the June issue of Asian-mena Counsel.

In-House Community Counsels of the Year, 2020 – The Winners

Anthony Luna of IBM Japan was named In-House Counsel of the Year.

Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group and KPMG China jointly won the award for Asia In-House Team of the Year, Nestle Middle East FZE won Middle East In-house Team of the Year and AFGRI Group won South Africa In-House Team of the Year.




To determine our Visionary Client Service Providers, we once again challenged New Silk Road-based legal service providers to demonstrate that they can truly stand inside the shoes of their clients and provide inspiring service. Our 2020 winners identify the very best examples of client excellence:

  • Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year, Asia: Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year, International: Pinsent Masons


  • Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year, Newcomer: Kudun and Partners
  • Joint-winners: Visionary Non Law-Firm Services Provider, Consulting & Suppliers: KorumLegal, and Law In Order



  • Visionary Non Law-Firm Services Provider, Legal Technology: Lawcadia


  • Visionary Non Law-Firm Services Provider, Newcomer: docQbot


Baker McKenzie was once again named Most Responsive Firm of the Year.

The goal of the In-House Community Counsel of the Year Awards is not only to shower our winners with well-deserved praise and recognition. By sharing some of the innovative solutions pioneered by in-house counsel and external providers uncovered through the awards process, we also hope to help stimulate the entire in-house community.

In-House Community Industry Legal Teams of the Year

Jardine Cycle & Carriage

Energy & Natural Resources – Asia
Aboitiz Power Corporation

Energy & Natural Resources – S.Africa

Financial Services
Abu Dhabi Global Market

Taikang Insurance Group

Life Science & Pharma
Sanofi (China) Investment

Manufacturing & Engineering
WSP Asia

Other Industries – Asia (Joint Winner)
KPMG China

Other Industries – Asia (Joint Winner)
Shell Companies in the Philippines

Other Industries – Middle East
Nestlé Middle East FZE

Property, Infrastructure & Logistics
FedEx Express

Retail & Healthcare – Asia

Retail & Healthcare – S.Africa

Technology, Media & Telecoms – Asia (Joint Winner)
Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group

Technology, Media & Telecoms – Asia (Joint Winner)TELSTRA
Telstra International

Technology, Media & Telecoms – Middle East

Travel & Leisure – Asia

Travel & Leisure – Middle East
Flash Entertainment FZ


In-House Community Best Practice Legal Teams of the Year

Change Management
Alexander Forbes Group Holdings

Manulife (International)

Corporate Social Responsibility (Joint Winner)

Corporate Social Responsibility (Joint Winner)
Hindustan Coca- Cola Beverages

Diversity – Asia
Aboitiz Power Corporation

Diversity – Middle East
Landmark Group

Innovation – Asia
Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group

Innovation – Middle East
Abu Dhabi Global Market

Integration – Asia (Joint Winner)
Agilent Technologies

Integration – Asia (Joint Winner)
IBM Japan

Integration – Middle East
Nestlé Middle East FZE

Small Team – Asia
Yum! Asia Franchise

Small Team – S. Africa

Telstra International

Transactional (Joint Winner)
Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group

Transactional (Joint Winner)
MTR Corporation


Commended External Counsels of the Year 2020 – In attendance,

Bui Ngoc Hong, LNT & Partners

Chris Gunson, Amereller

Dhiraphol Suwanprateep, Baker McKenzie

Dina Mahdi, Hadef & Partners

Jonathan Noble, Amereller

Kudun Sukhumanada, Kudun and Partners

Dr. M. Idwan Ganie, Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo

Maria Concepcion Simundac, V&A Law

Nam-Ake Lekfuangfu, Baker McKenzie

Nguyen Ha Quyen Hoang, LNT & Partners

Nguyen Huu Minh Nhut, Russin & Vecchi

Nicholas Sharratt, Stephenson Harwood LLP

Tetsuya Oi, TMI & Associates

Vo Ha Duyen, Vilaf

Zhan Hao, AnJie Law Firm.


A full write up of this year’s In-House Community Counsels of the Year Awards will appear in the June issue of Asian-mena Counsel.

Sponsors for Counsels of the Year Awards & Celebration 2020:


Macey & Sons In-House Community Legal Awards

Official Charity



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