Cross border support and expertize driving law firm favorability in Asian Pacific markets according to Acritas’ latest Brand Index

Legal departments are spending more of their budget on international work in the Asia Pacific region. The demand for cross border support has driven favorability for the top law firms in this year’s Acritas Asia Pacific Law firm Brand Index. Breadth of support is key to clients in this region, with spend set to increase in comparison to clients in other global legal markets.

The top six positions in this year’s Acritas Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index, remain unchanged from 2018. Baker McKenzie hold the top position in the index for the third consecutive year, significantly growing their lead at the top of the table with a 41%-point increase from last year. Awareness and favorability growth in China and Hong Kong have been crucial to gaining such a lead at the top of the table for the firm. Although Baker McKenzie has generated favorability amongst buyers in all of the key Asian Pacific markets to cement their lead.

Ai Ai Wong, Chair, Asia Pacific, Baker McKenzie, said:

“In addition to industry leading legal expertize, the legal services buyer of today expects commerciality, responsiveness, an ability to meet key procurement requirements, and overall a partner that helps to advance their business interests and capture key opportunities when they arise. It is gratifying to see our strength in high value work, particularly transactional work, being recognised so clearly this year; on average we lead and close three major transactions somewhere in the world every day, and we are using that global expertize to help leading companies grow and succeed across the region’s diverse and fast changing markets.”

This year we also see that expertize is setting firms apart from their rivals with clients favoring the quality of advice and the specialist knowledge that they can offer. Speed, responsiveness and partner accessibility are also becoming increasingly more important in the region for legal buyers.


“The Asia Pacific region is exciting and growing. As organisations continue to focus on international growth, clients are looking for quality, specialist knowledge and client focus as they navigate the opportunities across the region’s diverse markets.” explains David Johnson, Account Director at Acritas.


King & Wood Mallesons maintains second position as the firm stands out for its ability to deliver high value work and has been increasing cross-border consideration in the last year. Cross-border spend has grown in the region for the last four consecutive years and is anticipated to continue to grow as law firm clients look for a broad range of support covering M&A, litigation, corporate and regulatory work.


Herbert Smith Freehills remains in third position in the table behind Baker McKenzie and King & Wood Mallesons. It is the firm clients would mostly consider for their top-level litigation.

Clifford Chance, JunHe and Kim & Chang also maintain their respective positions in the index from last year.

Ashurst is a major riser this year, moving up five places to position seven in the index table. A strong growth in brand awareness in Hong Kong and consideration for top level work in Australia have driven it’s rise.

Other notable risers in this year’s index are Mori Hamada and Matsumoto of Japan and the biggest mover in the index this year Zhong Lun of China. With finally Minter Ellison maintaining their top 10 position in the index for the fourth consecutive year.


For more information about Acritas and its Asia Pacific Law Firm Brand Index, please contact:

David Johnson on +44(0) 808 178 3020 /


Laura Smith on +44(0) 808 178 3020 /

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