“My ideal legal services provider truly stands inside my shoes and works with me as a long-term trusted adviser to help deliver appropriate and cost-effective legal coverage for my stakeholders.”

General counsel, billion-dollar global company

Visionary_2020_nominationsFor those providing external legal services, we are currently canvassing submissions for the coveted In-House Community Visionary Client Services Awards 2020.

Open to applications from the full spectrum of legal services, we are inviting submissions for the following categories:

  • Visionary Client Service Law firm of the Year, Asia
  • Visionary Client Service Law firm of the Year, International
  • Visionary Client Service Law firm of the Year, Middle East
  • Visionary Client Service Law firm of the Year, South Africa
  • Visionary Non-Law Firm Services Provider

In what has been termed in the market as the only legal industry award for “the legal services provider that truly ‘gets it’ in terms of client service”, the In-House Community Visionary Firm Awards are unique in that they are open to applications from the full spectrum of legal services.

What makes a winner?

Criteria for the Visionary Client Service Awards

“Human beings will behave as they are rewarded – whether the reward is money and promotion, a medal…or a pat on the back” – Peter Drucker, Management Consultant and author 


Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas were named Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year for Asia in 2019

The past thirty years have not been covered in glory regarding the way that international legal media have sort to benchmark and award external teams.  How much a law firm pays its equity partners is not a viable measure of client service, after all. So, what would prove a better benchmark for law firms to strive for? The importance of client-service lay at the heart of our thinking at the In-House Community when putting together the criteria for the In-House Community – Visionary Client Services Firms of the Year

General Counsel have shared with the In-House Community that the three prevailing challenges they face on a day to day basis are: Managing Costs and evaluating value-added; Talent & career management; and; Positioning the Legal department within the company.  By reverse-engineering these key challenges, we set the challenge for legal service providers of any shape or form and from anywhere on the New Spectrum of Legal services to demonstrate that they can truly stand inside the shoes of their clients and provide them with inspiring service. Therefore, we asked them to quantifiably demonstrate the following: 

•  budget-orientated project management for a client;
•  advice to a client regarding productivity and efficiency; and
•  exceeding client expectations (inclusive of client testimonials)

As the Nobel-prize winning work of Daniel Kahneman attests, finding constructive incentives for individuals does in turn help society to prosper.

Please click here to make your submission for the In-House Community Visionary Firm Awards 2020

The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 2, 2020 (submissions after this date will not be considered).


Judging Panel for Visionary Client Service Awards:

Clinton SwanClinton Swan, Business Development, Marketing, Legal Tech Advisor and Start-up Coach

Clinton has been involved with the legal, information-services and technology sectors for the past 20 years, including serving over a decade on Clyde & Co’s regional management teams for the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. Having intended to spend 2019 focused on a full sabattical break, he has ended up along the way involved with a range of startup (including legaltech) ventures, as well as pursuing a continued interest in client experience and servicing as a strategic differentiator for law and professional services firms.


Jessica Bartlett, Director of Financial Crime Legal – APAC, Barclays

Jessica is the Director of Financial Crime Legal – APAC at Barclays and is based in Hong Kong. She advises compliance and legal teams, business lines and senior management across the APAC region on financial crime issues including economic sanctions, export controls, anti-money laundering, fraud, and anti-corruption.

Jessica relocated from New York to Hong Kong in 2015. Before joining Barclays in 2018, she was an associate with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Shearman & Sterling. Jessica clerked for the Honorable Sidney H. Stein, District Judge for the Southern District of New York. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois, Master of Arts in Philosophy from Brandeis University, and two Bachelors of Arts degrees in Art History and Political Science from Southern Methodist University. Jessica is a member of the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong.

Paul Smith

Paul Smith, Head of Professional Services, calls9

Paul was formerly Chairman at Eversheds Sutherland, where he led from the front in developing the firm’s international client base winning the mandates for ground breaking deals with DuPont and Tyco. He founded the firm’s successful consulting business and he is now Head of Professional Services at calls9. (See also: People, ideas, machines — in that order)


Peter Connor, Founder & CEO of AlternativelyLegal

Peter Connor helps in-house legal teams innovate and change the way they work to add more value for clients. He does that around the world through his T-shaped In-house LawyerTM and T-shaped Legal TeamTM programs. Peter has lived and worked in Silicon Valley California, Switzerland, England, Hong Kong and Sydney; as European General Counsel and Head of Global Compliance for Citrix Systems and as APAC General Counsel, Head of Legal Shared Services, European General Counsel and Head of European Government Affairs for Sun Microsystems. He also worked for Baker McKenzie in Sydney and Hong Kong. Recently, he lead the development and implementation of KPMG’s New Law business in Australia. Peter is the recipient of the Citrix Design Thinking Hero Award and the Sun Microsystems CEO Leadership Award for his innovative contributions to the business. He is a widely- published author on legal innovation and he regularly speaks at legal conferences around the world.

Nick Ferguson headshot

Nick Ferguson, Managing Editor, Asian-mena Counsel

Nick is the managing editor of Asian-mena Counsel, official publication for the In-House Community. He has been based in Hong Kong since 2000, reporting on law and financial services for FinanceAsia and Euromoney. Since 2015 he has worked as a freelance writer and editor, helping to launch InsuranceAsia News, a trade publication startup covering the Asian insurance industry, and has also written for Nikkei, Thomson Reuters and Tatler, as well as producing thought-leadership and other copy for numerous international financial institutions. In addition to journalism, Nick has also worked in business development for White & Case in Hong Kong.


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