Baker McKenzie holds top spot in Acritas’ Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index

Baker McKenzie is the strongest law firm brand for the second consecutive year, according to the Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2018.

Acritas’ Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2018 is compiled from an extract of the Sharplegal survey dataset. All data is derived from 441 interviews within 11 countries, collectively spending US$2.1 billion on legal services annually.

In this year’s Index, Asia Pacific firms accounted for approximately half of the firms mentioned and half of all brand equity in the market. A smaller number of global and multi-national firms (13% of firms named) achieve a more substantial brand strength, taking up 36% of the brand index points. Conversly, US firms are facing the most competition – they were twice as numerous as the global firms (26% of firms mentioned) but much weaker in brand strength. Together, US firms accounted for just 10% of brand equity in the market.

A continuing demand for law firms with strong international capabilities has ensured Baker McKenzie retains top spot in this diverse legal arena, with the firm receiving top scores for its multi-jurisdictional litigation and deals work, two of the eight metrics used to compile the index.

Gary Seib, Chair, Asia Pacific, Baker McKenzie, said, "It is a credit to our diverse and talented team of lawyers and business professionals across Asia Pacific that we are the number one legal brand in Asia Pacific this year. As the story of globalization enters a new and challenging phase, we are proud to be trusted advisors to those companies determined to succeed despite the geopolitical complexities. In many ways it is what drives them, and us."

Close behind in second place, King & Wood Mallesons holds steady and together with Baker McKenzie pull away from third place Herbert Smith Freehills – who continue to receive the highest scores for their top-level litigation work.

David Johnson, Account Director of Acritas said: “While the firms making up the top three have been consistent since the Index was first published in 2014, we see a lot of change further down the list which reflects the complexity of operating across this vast region and clients’ evolving needs.”

This year we see Clifford Chance recovering from a dip in last year’s brand strength to be ranked fourth in the 2018 Index.

"Asia Pacific legal buyers spend 40% of their budget on resources outside their home country, and the pace of spending is expected to accelerate with growth in the region," confirmed David. "The challenge for global firms is to figure out how they can develop strong local client relationships based on expertise and a deep understanding of their businesses and markets to maintain this service promise across the firm as the international need of their clients grow.”

JunHe’s strength in China helped the firm increase its brand strength in the region and climb up to fifth while the remaining spots in the top 10 were taken by Kim & Chang, MinterEllison, Nishmimura & Asahi, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, DLA Piper and Mori Hamada & Matsumoto.

"The Asia Pacific region is incredibly diverse, and accordingly, service expectations differ widely among clients. Law firms that succeed in this part of the world understand and account for these nuances in buyer behavior," said David. 

To reflect the increasing diversity of legal services providers that in-house departments turn to, Acritas will publish its inaugural Asia-Pacific Alternative Legal Brand Index on Friday June 29, 2018. This new Index has been established to identify the strongest non-law firm brands within this rapidly growing part of the broader global legal industry.  



The Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index 2018 is compiled from the unprompted responses of 441 senior general counsel in Asia Pacific organisations with annual revenues over $50m USD who, as part of Sharplegal research, were asked about their awareness of and favourability towards law firms; their consideration of firms for top-level litigation and major M&A; multi-jurisdictional litigation and deals; as well as their use of firms for high value work. Interviews were conducted across all industry sectors in 2017 and up until June 2018.

A further 358 senior in-house counsel from ‘elite’ organisations were asked which firms they used for their legal needs in any of seven key jurisdictions within Asia Pacific, outside of the country they were based in.   

All sample for interviews was generated from Acritas’ own database of in-house counsel contacts and was not influenced by law firms.


To find out more about Acritas and its Brand Indexes please contact Michelle Nesbitt-Burrell on  +44 808 178 3020 or email

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