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

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.48.16 PMIn-House Community Counsel of the Year, 2020
Anthony Luna, IBM Japan
‘Empathy First’ approach for external clients, Broad and diverse experienced team in Japan, Knowledge sharing with Japan In-House Community on legal tech, compliance & diversity, Risk assessment & prioritization of Contracts to increase efficiency and reduce work load, Comprehensive ‘Engagement Program’ for department’s continual improvement.


In-House Community Legal Teams of the Year, 2020

Asia, In-House Team of the Year 2020 (Joint Winner)
Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group
Continued expansion of block-chain based cross-border payment service, AlipayHK eWallet for China and Japan, Vanguard acquisition US$5.9 trillion.

Asia, In-House Team of the Year 2020 (Joint Winner)
KPMG China
10 principles of the Office of the General Counsel.

Middle East, In-House Team of the Year 2020
Nestle Middle East FZE
Internal Client Satisfaction program, Mutual Trust as the watchword in legal department, Implementation of Legal Automation.

South Africa, In-House Team of the Year 2020
ABBA ‘influencers’ project in hydroponic farming, Legal department as ‘profit centre’ generating profit after tax through innovative conveyancing, 5 member team coverage of 11 jurisdictions.


In-House Community Industry Legal Teams of the Year, 2020

Jardine Cycle & Carriage
Acquisition of Vietnam Dairy Co. (US$1.2 billion), ‘Mind Gym Learning’.

Energy & Natural Resources – Asia
Aboitiz Power Corporation
1,800 transactions with 93% on-time, Education of industry regarding pressing issues.

Energy & Natural Resources – S.Africa
ABBA ‘influencers’ project in hydroponic farming, Legal department as ‘profit centre’ generating profit after tax through innovative conveyancing.

Financial Services
Abu Dhabi Global Market
‘Gender Equality Initiative’, China Gateway agreements with Chinese SOEs.

Taikang Insurance Group
50,000 contracts involving 10 billion Rmb, 668 patents applied for in 2019, Data Protection implementation.

Life Science & Pharma
Sanofi (China) Investment
Digital AI in field of medical information.

Manufacturing & Engineering
WSP Asia
Education beyond the law – including fraud examination, Data Privacy, Enterprise Risk Management.

Other Industries – Asia (Joint Winner)
KPMG China
Creation of the Office of the GC (OGC) for Greater China, OGC Portal.

Other Industries – Asia (Joint Winner)
Shell Companies in the Philippines
FAQ guidance on each key legal matter to all divisions, Christmas Party at children’s cancer charity Child Haus Manila.

Other Industries – Middle East
Nestlé Middle East FZE
Internal Client Satisfaction program.

Property, Infrastructure & Logistics
FedEx Express
Clients’ self-help automation throughout China.

Retail & Healthcare – Asia
‘Anytime Anywhere’ online system for all employees, ‘AEON Wellness’ – offering East Meets West trad. Chinese medicine & western medicine.

Retail & Healthcare – S.Africa
All women legal team fully integrated in Netcare business units, ‘My Walk Shoes’ project – recycling of PVC waste into school shoes.

Technology, Media & Telecoms – Asia (Joint Winner)
Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group
Continued expansion of block-chain based cross-border payment service.

Technology, Media & Telecoms – Asia (Joint Winner)
Telstra International
Agile working practices, including sprint structure and stand-up meetings.

Technology, Media & Telecoms – Middle East
Comprehensive Training & Cooperation with Sales Team, Support of expansion in region.

Travel & Leisure – Asia
Series H fundraising of US$5.6billion, Grab-Food expansion.

Travel & Leisure – Middle East
Flash Entertainment FZ
Sharing with business community the risk of IP infringement in Sports photography.


In-House Community Best Practice Legal Teams of the Year, 2020

Change Management
Alexander Forbes Group Holdings
Management of highly-sensitive labour matters and related litigation.

Manulife (International)
Work to extend retirement net for HK citizens,, E-Claims system.

Corporate Social Responsibility (Joint Winner)
Initiation of the Mindful Business Charter, ‘Line Managers’ Wellbeing Commitment’.

Corporate Social Responsibility (Joint Winner)
Hindustan Coca- Cola Beverages
Environmental Compliance Roadmap, Innovation around plastic waste management.

Diversity – Asia
Aboitiz Power Corporation
Raising money for a gay community care home, Breaking silos & fostering cooperation.

Diversity – Middle East
Landmark Group
Child development and women’s empowerment, Landmark Beat Diabetes program with Dubai Sports Council.

Innovation – Asia
Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group
AlipayHK eWallet for China and Japan.

Innovation – Middle East
Abu Dhabi Global Market
UAE Fund Passporting regime.

Integration – Asia (Joint Winner)
Agilent Technologies
AI translation tool and eTool for certification developed with IT colleagues.

Integration – Asia (Joint Winner)
IBM Japan
Knowledge sharing with Japan In-House Community on legal tech, compliance & diversity, Risk assessment & prioritization of Contracts to increase efficiency and reduce work load, Comprehensive ‘Engagement Program’ for department’s continual improvement.

Integration – Middle East
Nestlé Middle East FZE
Mutual Trust as the watchword in legal department.

Small Team – Asia
Yum! Asia Franchise
5 member team servicing KFC, Pizza Hut in Asia-Pacific.

Small Team – S. Africa
5 member team coverage of 11 jurisdictions, Group of the Bank of Athens M&A.

Telstra International
‘Project Morpheus’ – legal guidance automation.

Transactional (Joint Winner)
Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group
Vanguard acquisition US$5.9 trillion.

Transactional (Joint Winner)
MTR Corporation
Award of Sydney Metro City & South West PPP project, London’s Elizabeth Line between Paddington and Reading, Phase 1 of Hangzhou Line 5.



Visionary Client Services Firms of the Year, 2020

Law Firms

Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year, Asia
Tilleke & Gibbins
Among a wealth of mandates it handled during the past year, Tilleke & Gibbins stood out in particular for its partnership with an artificial intelligence company to develop better Thai-language tools for natural language processing, which is notoriously difficult given the script’s complex structure and positioning of vowels and inflection marks, lack of spacing between words and indeterminate separation between sentences, as well as relatively low resources to build upon.

Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year, International
Pinsent Masons
Pinsent Masons’ Hong Kong office partnered with Dow Jones to design and deliver a bespoke digital training programme for HSBC’s 1,500-strong global in-house legal team, and also launched a local chapter of the Mindful Business Charter, a programme focused on improving mental health and wellbeing, with Barclays and Addleshaw Goddard.

Visionary Client Service Law Firm of the Year – Newcomer
Kudun and Partners
Founded in 2015, Kudun and Partners has sought to disrupt the Thai legal industry and deliver a different level of client service through a carefully executed team recruitment strategy and continued adherence to a “client-care” approach, which stresses accountability, assurance, responsiveness and empathy. It’s working.

Non-Law Firms

Visionary Non Law-Firm Services Provider – Consulting & Suppliers
Joint Winner: KorumLegal
Hong Kong’s KorumLegal continues to have an impact across the region, focusing on the business of law and working on a number of fronts to develop the industry’s effectiveness, efficiency and evolution — as demonstrated by an impressive list of client solutions delivered in 2019. Long before Covid-19, it has been helping clients to leverage tools such as Zoom and Slack to manage projects efficiently.

Joint Winner: Law In Order
Law In Order has continued to make impressive strides during the past year, including its support for virtual arbitration, which has proven to be a timely innovation in light of the global pandemic. The company has once again demonstrated that its collaborative team of in-house innovation, consulting and development experts are actively involved in industry development.

Visionary Non Law-Firm Services Provider – Legal Technology
Lawcadia impressed the judges with the approach it is taking to onboard and engage stakeholder groups. In 2019, it released its latest product, Lawcadia Connect, a highly configurable workflow for new legal requests coming from the business (internal clients) to the in-house legal teams, and also to allow in-house legal teams to better manage their external legal spend using Lawcadia’s existing suite of products.

Visionary Non-Law Firm Services Provider – Newcomer
docQbot is China’s first bilingual cloud-based AI contract service platform. It has led the creation of a full suite of Foreign Investment Law-compliant templates and knowhow in cooperation with a cross-law firm/law department expert committee for a unique solution. This sort of innovation is significant in itself, and is likely an area where significant industry and user gains will be made.


Most Responsive Firm of the Year, 2019
Baker McKenzie
Voted most responsive international firm of the year in the most jurisdictions by members of the In-House Community.



Commended External Counsel of the Year, 2020

Nominated entirely by in-house counsel and corporate decision-makers in the In-House Community, the following external counsel all received the outstanding recommendation of their clients. From our Commended Counsel we also announced the In-House Community External Counsel of the Year. Congratulations to all those below:



Jiang Junlu, King & Wood Mallesons

Kimi Liu, Clifford Chance

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.51.33 PMZhan Hao
“Hao is a responsive lawyer and takes time to learn your business structure” — In-house Testimonial
Dr. Zhan Hao has focused on legal practice for more than 20 years with rich case experiences. He has gained great reputation in both fields of insurance law and competition law and was awarded as both The Band 1 Insurance Lawyer and The Band 1 Anti-trust Lawyer in China  by Chambers & Partners. He is willing and also fully prepared to continue to provide more professional legal service to clients based on insightful understanding of both law and business.

Katherine Wang, Ropes and Gray


Hong Kong

Baldwin Cheng, White & Case

Alvin Ho, Pinsent Masons

Dominic Wai, ONC Lawyers

Donovan Ferguson, King & Wood Mallesons

Lokekhoon Tan, Baker McKenzie

Lorna Chen, Shearman & Sterling

Martin Rogers, Davis Polk & Wardwell



Ajay Raghvan, Trilegal (left)

Darius Khambata, One Essex Court

Dhaval Vussonji, Dhaval Vussonji & Associates

Anupam Verma, J. Sagar Associates

Trinath Tadakmalla, Phoenix Legal

Shivanshu Thaplyal, Khaitan & Co



Daniel Pardede, Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners (Baker McKenzie)

Dwi Anita Daruherdani, Rahayu & Partners (HFW)

M. Idwan Ganie, Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo

Marisa Iskandar, Law Offices Amir Syamsudin and Partners

Andi Yusuf Kadir, Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners (Baker McKenzie)



Eric Roose, Withers

Nick Wall, Allen & Overy

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.51.45 PMTetsuya Oi
TMI Associates
“Tetsuya stands out in Japan with strong expertise in tech laws” — In-house Testimonial
I have been involved in technical cyber attack investigation cases and subsequent system development litigation between vendors and users, with a focus on cases involving both cybersecurity cases and Privacy Act compliant cases over the last year. We have established a new consulting firm, TMI Privacy & Security Consulting Co., Ltd in Big Data analytics, digital forensics and cyber attack investigative analytics as a subsidiary of our law firm in order to expand not only legal sector but also into the technology sector.

Jeremy White, Baker McKenzie



Valerie Ngooi Ming Hui, Christopher & Lee Ong

Deepak Sadasivan, Adnan Sundra & Low

Jalalullail Othman, Shooklin & Bok

Lam Wai Loon, Harold & Lam Partnership

Rodney Gomez, Shearn Delamore

Tunku Alizan R.M.Alias, Zul Rafique



Jeffrey Greene, Al Alawi & Co



Francis Ed. Lim, ACCRA Law

Ricardo Ma. P.G. Ongkiko, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

Arnell Uychoco, Law Offices of Attorney Arnell Uychoco

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.52.03 PMMaria Concepcion Simundac
V&A Law
“Maria not only has the legal knowledge and expertise, but does her work with integrity, and professionalism” — In-house Testimonial
Overwhelming gratitude to the In-House Community and all the in-house counsels who have voted for me for this recognition. I could not have accomplished this achievement without the invaluable support of my Firm, Villaraza & Angangco, and my team — who deserve to share in this award. I will continue to give the same dedication and excellence and go the extra-mile in all my work. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with clients as they flourish and grow in their respective fields for more years to come.

Franchette Acosta, V&A Law

Monalisa Dimalanta, PJS Law



Alistair Henderson, Herbert Smith Freehills

Ameera Ashraf, WongPartnership

Celeste Ang, Baker McKenzie

Muralidharan Pillai, Rajah & Tann

External Counsel of the Year

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.52.15 PMRichard Nelson
King & Spalding
“Richard Nelson is the best energy lawyer in Singapore. He is able to efficiently resolve all types of complicated legal and commercial issues on an energy project” — In-house Testimonial

Timothy Cooke, Stephenson Harwood


South Africa

Aslam Moosafee, ENS Africa

Christo Els, Webber Wentzel

Fritz Malan, ENS Africa

Jean Meijer, Herbert Smith Freehills


South Korea

Andrew White, Kim & Chang

Anthony Chang, Bae Kim & Lee

Tong-Chan Shin, Yulchon

Soongki Yi, Yoon & Yang

Young Kyun Yun, Yoon & Yang



Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.52.28 PMDhiraphol Suwanprateep
Baker McKenzie
“Khun Dhiraphol’s vast experience is apparent in how business focused he is” — In-house Testimonial
I am extremely honored and grateful to receive the Commended External Counsel award this year. This award not only reflects the high quality and world class legal services our Baker McKenzie team provides, but also recognizes the high level of client satisfaction we strive for. Our firm and I look forward to continuing to serve our clients in the future, especially during this difficult time period we all face.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.52.37 PMKudun Sukhumananda
Kudun and Partners
“Khun Kudun is both legal and business solution oriented” — In-house Testimonial
I am honored to be recognized as the “In-house Community Commended External Counsel of the Year 2020” alongside some of the most senior and well-respected lawyers in the market. I’m also incredibly proud of what our firm has achieved in the space of just five short years. Our core philosophy – “Business advisors with great legal minds” – combined with our commitment to a more client-focused way of practicing, continues to break barriers, enabling us to consistently meet and exceed our clients’ expectations and commercial objectives.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.53.06 PMNam-Ake Lekfuangfu
Baker McKenzie
“Nam-Ake is a very knowledgeable lawyer and is pragmatic in his approach” — In-house Testimonial
I am sincerely honored to be recognized and to know that our assistance to clients over the years has successfully demonstrated the breadth and depth of our Bangkok Employment practice, which is very capable of providing a full range of advice from general advice to complex employment aspects of M&As, massive workforce restructuring and emerging HR trends like modern workforce and work equality. I look forward to continue to help our clients navigate through these issues.



Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.53.18 PMChristopher Gunson
“Chris is among the best private practice lawyers in the Middle East. He provides top quality advice on numerous subject areas and is highly trusted as a skilled adviser for resolving difficult commercial and legal issues” — In-house Testimonial
I am very happy to receive this recognition for the fifth year in the row. I am honored to be recognized for client service. I will continue to dedicate my career to demystifying the Middle East for multinational companies.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.53.29 PMDina Mahdi
Hadef & Partners
“Dina very quickly understands a situation and finds the answer, or any other way she can help” — In-house Testimonial
I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition. I thank the In House Community for the award and IHC members for the nomination. I have been very fortunate with my career in the UAE and with Hadef & Partners. Being a member of this profession and serving our clients is a great privilege, which would not be possible without endless support from my colleagues, to whom I am immensely thankful. Thank you to our clients for your confidence in us. We shall continue to strive to meet and exceed your expectations.

Fraser Dawson, Gibson Dunn

Jasmin Fitche, Fichte & Co

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.54.01 PMJonathan Noble
“Jonathan is not only knowledgeable, but he has excellent business acumen and provides solutions rather than answers. As an in-house lawyer this is a valuable asset for me” — In-house Testimonial
I am grateful to be acknowledged by clients for a single minded focus on delivering actionable, business-oriented legal solutions. My attention will remain on helping clients succeed in an increasingly volatile legal and economic environment.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.54.13 PMNicholas Sharratt
Stephenson Harwood
“Nicholas is outstanding in his client service and project management skills” — In-house Testimonial
I am grateful for this award and to the clients who provided feedback. I continually aim to provide a premium service, which is commercially focussed and aligned to our client’s needs through leading colleagues to be seen, and trusted, as an extension of their in-house team. The current landscape is set to see many challenges ahead, but we will continue to work with our clients to position their businesses to be as robust and adaptable as possible during these testing times.



Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.54.25 PMBui Ngoc Hong
LNT & Partners
“Bui Ngoc Hong stands out among lawyers in Vietnam” — In-house Testimonial
This is the fourth time in a range I have been awarded Commended External Counsel of the Year. For my team and me, the past year is most memorable when assisting our clients in a landmark M&A transaction, and a sophisticated corporate investigation. Accepting this award, I am very happy and grateful for your kind recognitions. I will never take your trust for granted. I urge myself to keep learning to be more efficient and win your continued trust. Hope we can meet, in person, at next year’s ceremony.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.54.39 PMNguyen Ha Quyen Hoang
LNT & Partners
“Ms. Hoang is a lawyer who listens, with outstanding business knowledge” — In-house Testimonial
It was an incredible year for me and my colleagues at LNT & Partners. We are privileged to have had the opportunities to be the advisors behind some of the most significant transactions in Vietnam in 2019. Our client’s interests are at the forefront of everything we do, so being voted Commended External Counsel of the Year by members of In-house Community is a massive honour for me as well as LNT & Partners.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.54.55 PMNguyen Huu Minh Nhut
Russin & Vecchi
“Mr. Nhut is one of the most outstanding lawyers in Vietnam” — In-house Testimonial
“It is my great honor to receive the award. Many thanks to Asian-mena Counsel/In-house Community for organizing the survey. Special thanks to all clients and colleagues who have voted for me. This shows your appreciation and recognition of my and our firm’s work for which I am most grateful. For us external lawyers, clients’ support is valuable, enabling us to serve better. I’m truly gratified for all support from our clients, and hope to have your continued support.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 5.55.06 PMVo Ha Duyen
“Duyen truly stands out as one of the top lawyer’s in Vietnam” — In-house Testimonial
I am honored to be recognized for the award. I feel blessed about having had the opportunities to accompany our clients in their business journeys with all the joys, challenges and legal issues and to contribute to the development of younger legal talents. Spending time with clients and with our lawyers has been truly an inspiration to me and I am grateful for it.

Vinh An, Lawyer VN


Logo_In-House Community Counsels of the year Awards 2020


With thanks to our sponsors:

Hughes Castell

Macey & Sons In-House Community Legal Awards


Our official charity:

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 6.09.19 PM

And thank you to our esteemed  judges:

Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 6.18.08 PM

Andrew Cooke, General Counsel, Fnatic


Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 6.12.26 PM

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


Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 6.12.38 PM

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


Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 6.12.55 PM

Kirsty Dougan, Managing Director of Vario Asia


Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 6.13.12 PM

Michelle Gon, Senior Advisor, Yuanda Law Firm


Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 6.13.24 PM

Paul Smith, Head of Professional Services, calls9


Screenshot 2020-06-11 at 6.13.44 PM

Peter Connor, Founder & CEO of AlternativelyLegal


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Dr Zhang Xi, Vice President & General Counsel, iCarbonX Group


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Nick Ferguson, Managing Editor, Asian-mena Counsel



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