Hong Kong

Ten legal providers gave nominations for the Visionary Firm of the Year – Legal Services Award and the winning firm was adjudicated by our independent judges Sue Lynn Koo and David Miles.–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
• Axiom
• Eversheds
• K&L Gates
• Lee International
• LNT & Partners
• RHTLaw Taylor Wessing
• Shanghai Qin Li
• Simpson Thacher
• Trowers
• ZICOlaw
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

General Counsel and their in-house legal teams throughout the In-House Community are seeking new and ever more cost-effective ways to engage external counsel. Change is coming through client demand, as predicted by some – most vocally Professor Richard Susskind. Much of this is due to cost pressure arising from an ever more competitive and congested legal market place and the need for corporates and financial institutions to cut costs. But it is also a phenomenon linked to the great levelling achieved by the internet and other technical innovations over the past 20 years. The practice of law gets increasingly technological as each day passes. Law firms are no longer the only repository of legal knowledge, and no longer the only game in town when General Counsel are seeking external support. There are now many non-partnership structured and technology-assisted legal providers competing for the international legal services market. And with the global market not growing and with firms competing for the same in-house dollar, it’s much more about market share, making the most of that market share and therefore, law firms having a competitive edge by new and innovative means. In other words: to be visionary.

The ‘Visionary Firm of the Year – Legal Services’ annual award seeks to encapsulate this new paradigm and celebrate by example the firm, whether it be a traditional law firm or a new law entrant.

Our judges selected Eversheds as our ‘Visionary Firm of the Year – Legal Services’ for 2016. Amongst those who made submissions, no other law firm has so consistently embraced the reality about and the connection between legal budgets and the risk taking partnership that is necessary between a global in-house team and its external lawyers.

The Eversheds submission established the firm’s credentials by providing verifiable examples of budget-orientated project management as a fully customised fee model for a leading listed Chinese client, with capped fees and agreed budgets for all legal work. Preventive work for the same client has reduced pressure on the legal budget with Eversheds providing a global risk management system – the fence at the top of the cliff rather than the ambulance at the bottom.

But more innovative are their other offerings provided to General Counsel and their teams:
• ‘Eversheds Consulting’ is a group dedicated to assisting the in-house department develop their own business plans and strategy and hence demonstrate to the board and senior management the contribution the legal department makes to the overall success of the organisation.
• ‘Eversheds Agile’ in Asia launched in the last year providing interim legal consultants to in-house teams on a flexible basis.
• ‘Eversheds Unity’ provides matter, document and contract management, work flow and advanced reporting – access to technology for clients that engage with the firm.

As General Counsel become ever increasingly sophisticated buyers of global legal services, all of the above will most likely prove standard quite soon. All law firms – Eversheds included – will need to continually innovate to stay afloat in this increasingly crowded legal market. But for this year at least, a more traditional law firm, albeit one with innovative add-ons, has won the ‘Visionary Firm’ accolade. As one General Counsel commented from the many testimonials provided “Eversheds have really set the standard on how to plan and execute complex jurisdictional projects”.

Congratulations Eversheds! And keep it up. We predict that the 2017 ‘Visionary Firm of the Year – Legal Services’ will be even more keenly contested!

Our In-House Community Commended External Counsel are (alphabetically):

Australia
David Friedlander, King & Wood Mallesons
Odette Gourley, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Paul Deschamps, HWL Ebsworth
Rehana Box, Ashurst

China
Chen Yang, Sidley Austin
David Yu, Llinks Law Offices
Fang Jian, Linklaters
Fran Ye, Young-Ben Law Firm.
Guan Feng, King & Wood Mallesons
Jack Wang, King & Wood Mallesons
Jonathan Zhou, Fangda Partners
Ken Dai, Dentons (Dacheng Law Offices)
Lucy Lu, King & Wood Mallesons
Meg Utterbeck, King & Wood Mallesons
Michael Han, Fangda Partners
Prof. Liu, Xiaohai, Grandall
Susan Ning, King & Wood Mallesons
Yongmei Cai, Simmons & Simmons
Yusheng Shi, King & Wood Mallesons
Zou, Weining, Jun He Law Offices

Hong Kong
Bonnie Chan, Davis Polk & Wardwell
Catherine Chong, Wilkinson & Grist
Fiona Loughrey, Simmons & Simmons
Frank Sun, Kirkland & Ellis
Gerhard Radtke, Davis Polk & Wardwell
Jonathan Midgley, Haldanes
KK Cheung, Deacons
Mark Shipman, Clifford Chance
Martin C.W. Tam, Baker and Mckenzie
Minny Siu. King & Wood Mallesons
Nigel Stamp, Eversheds
Richard McKeown, Simmons & Simmons
Sarah Berkeley, Simmons & Simmons

India
Harish Salve, Blackstone Chambers
Sajai Singh, J.Sagar Associates

Indonesia
Dr Mohamed Idwan (Kiki) Ganie, Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo
Indri P. Guritno, Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners

Japan
Catherine E. Palmer, Latham & Watkins
Chris Hodgens, Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise)
John Roebuck, Jones Day
Peter Godwin, Herbert Smith Freehills
Piyasena Perera, Hunton & Williams
Takahiro Kobayashi, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto
Tomoo Nishikawa, Sidley Austin Nishikawa Foreign Law Joint Enterprise
Yoshihiko Fuchibe, TMI Associates

Malaysia
Chew Phye Keat, Raja Darryl & Loh
Christopher Lee, Christopher & Lee Ong in association with Rajah & Tann
Foo Joon Liang, Gan Partnership
Pauline Khor, Rahmat Lim & Partners
Rabindra Nathan, Shearn Delamore
Samuel Hong, Kadir Andri & Partners
Saravana Kumar, Lee Hishamudin Allen & Gledhill
Siva Kumar, Skrine
Tan Kong Yam, Kadir Andri & Partners

Philippines
Alexander J. Poblador, Poblador Bautista & Reyes
Francis Lim. ACCRALAW
Gwen Grecia-de Vera, PJS Law
Rafael A. Morales, Morales Justiniano Peña & LumaguiSingapore
Cheng Yoke Ping, Rajah & Tann
Davinder Singh, Drew & Napier
John D. MacKay, Latham & Watkins
Kala Anandarajah, Rajah & Tann
Kelvyn Oo, Pinsent Masons
Kent Phillips, Berwin Leighton Paisner
Low Kah Keong, WongPartnership
Mark Cheng, Rajah & Tann
Ng Eng Leng, Rodyk & Davidson
Prawiro Widjaja, Allen & Gledhill
Sandy Foo, Drew & Napier
Sean Prior, Ashurst

South Korea
Bumkyu Sung, Kim & Chang
Hong Jun An, Lee & Ko
Jae Ho Baek, Kim & Chang
Jihyun Kim, Kim & Chang
Jin Young Chung, Kim & Chang
Lewis McDonald, Herbert Smith Freehills
Sae Youn Kim, Yulchon
Soo Man Park, Kim & Chang
Stephen Le Vesconte, Linklaters

Taiwan
James Huang, Lee & Li

Thailand
Khemajit Choomwattana, LS Horizon
Sui Lin Teoh, Rajah & Tann
Chaiporn Supvoranid, Baker & McKenzie
James Lawden, Weerawong, Chinnavat & Peangpanor

Vietnam
Dang The Duc, Indochine Counsel
Nguyen Huu Minh, Nhut, Russin & Vecchi
Quynh, Pham Si Hai, VILAF
Tran Anh Duc, Allen & Overy

United Arab Emirates
Chris Gunson, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
Chris Lester, Latham & Watkins
Christian Saunders, Allen & Overy
Daniel J. Greenwald, III, Chadbourne & Parke
David Martin, Linklaters
Debbie Walker, Clifford Chance
Helen Tapadar Hangari, DLA Piper
Khalid Garousha, Allen & Overy
Rebecca Ford, Clyde & Co
Richard Davies, Berwin Leighton Paisner
Sara Khoja, Clyde & Co
Simon Topping, Dentons
Stuart Ure, Clifford Chance

United Kingdom
Nicky Androsov, gunnercooke and ComIt Legal

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