2019 Criteria

Eligibility

Any firm or individual with an office in Asia can submit an entry, as long as the nominee meets the criteria for the relevant category. Joint entries are also welcome, where appropriate.

There is a strict limit of ONE entry per organization per category for the Firms and Lawyers of the Year, and ONE entry per category for the Deals of the Year.

Please note: there will be a charge if firms try to enter more than 5 categories, this charge will be a flat rate of $150 

For the firm and lawyer prizes, the submissions are required to focus on three specific matters to support the nomination. The period covered by these awards is from January 1, 2018 to Date of Submission. While initiatives, deals or cases may have commenced before that time, the focus of the entry must be within the stated period.
 

Submission process

Entries must be submitted using the awards’ online portal. Email submissions will NOT be acceptedAny entry that exceeds the stated word limits will be automatically disqualified. While we encourage you to use the online forms, you may upload your entry as an attachment.
 

Advice on how to put together a submission

Your submission should demonstrate how you have excelled against all the criteria. The weakest part of many entries last year was the failure to include clear evidence of achievement or explanation of why the matter was significant, innovative or ground breaking. The judges will be harsh on entries that do not include clear statements of objectives and targets supported by evidence that these targets were reached.
 

Confidentiality

Please do not submit confidential matters for consideration. In particular, deals with any confidential element will be disqualified without exceptionHowever, if you would like certain aspects of your entry for firm or lawyer nominations to remain confidential, please mark these sections clearly and we will not publish this information without your permission.
 

Supporting material

There is a strict limit of one piece of supporting material per entry. It is not obligatory to include supporting material.
 

Entry criteria – Category breakdown

 

Deals of the Year


Deals are divided into the following categories:
M&A Deal of the Year: North Asia
M&A Deal of the Year: South Asia
M&A Deal of the Year: Southeast Asia
Finance Deal of the Year: Acquisitions
Finance Deal of the Year: Insolvency and Restructuring
Finance Deal of the Year: Projects
Securities Deal of the Year: Debt
Securities Deal of the Year: Equity
Private Equity Deal of the Year
Energy and Infrastructure Project of the Year
TMT Deal of the Year


M&A will be defined broadly to encompass any business combination, purchase or disposal involving a target or buyer based in Asia. A Finance deal will be eligible if it involves an Asia-based borrower or lender, or banking under relevant laws of any Asian jurisdiction. A Securities deal will be eligible if it involves the sale of securities to international investors by an Asian issuer or on an Asian exchange. A private equity deal will qualify if involves investments and exits in Asia and the formation if an Asia-targeted or Asia-based fund. Energy and infrastructure deals will include both large projects and transactions in those sectors. Transactions in the technology, media and telecommunications will qualify for TMT deals. An eligible real estate deal must involve properties located in Asia.

The judging committee will expect to see evidence of: 
1. Legal expertise and innovation 
2. Regulatory/commercial strategy and solutions
3. Teamwork and efficiency
4. Client satisfaction 
5. Contribution to the field, industry or legislation

The number of submissions is limited to ONE deal per category. While there is no minimum transaction value requirement, we encourage you to state a deal value clearly. All deals must be announced or completed between January 1, 2018 and Date of Entry.

Each entry must name the lead lawyer(s) at every law firm involved in the matter. Please also include the name or names of the lead in-house lawyers on each side, with contact information.

Please fill out the following table. All fields must be completed. Shortlisted deals will be published - any deals with confidential or incomplete details will be automatically disqualified:

Deal category
Deal name
Date announced/completed
Size/value (incl. USD) 
Lead partner(s) 
All other firms involved and their role (local & international) 
Deal summary & significance
(Max. 300 words)

 

Firms of the Year

Entries for this award should focus on THREE (3) work highlights that have a significant Asian regulatory element and set new standards in the delivery of high-level legal services and solutions, thereby demonstrating the firm’s market-leading position. Please summarize the key features, importance and creativity of each matter, outlining the team’s or lead lawyer’s role.

Firms of the Year awards include:
M&A Firm of the Year
Finance Firm of the Year
Investment Funds Firm of the Year
Securities Firm of the Year
Dispute Resolution Firm of the Year
Intellectual Property Firm of the Year
TMT Firm of the Year
Offshore Law Firm of the Year
Shipping Firm of the Year
Private Client Firm of the Year
New Asian Office of the Year

The judging committee will expect to see evidence of: 
1. Legal expertise and innovation 
2. Regulatory/commercial strategy and solutions
3. Industry knowledge and experience
4. Teamwork and efficiency
5. Client satisfaction 
6. Contribution to the field, industry or legislation

Note on dispute cases: For litigation and arbitration cases to be considered as relevant matters, they must be DECIDED at least once; ongoing litigation and arbitration cases will NOT be considered. We encourage you to only submit cases you’ve won; cases decided against you will not be considered useful evidence.

Please fill out the following table. All fields must be completed. The three transactions, cases or other matters must have executed between January 1, 2018 and Date of Entry:

Firm category 
Key members of team 
Three (3) relevant matters 
(Max. 900 words total) 
Winning qualities 
(Max. 500 words) 
Referees
 
New Asian Office of the Year

This award is open to all firms that have opened a new office in Asia between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018. Entries should include deals, cases and other mandates the new Asian office has taken on since the opening, and explain the benefit of the new office to the entire firm. We encourage entries to include financial performance, fulltime lawyer headcounts and number of new hires of the new office so far to demonstrate progress made since launch. Entries should state where the office is, on what date it was opened, how big the launch team was and what were the practice focus. If your firm has opened more than one offices in Asia during the surveyed period, you may enter them all but please make a separate entry for each office. We encourage you to include written client references illustrating how the new office has helped their legal service experience in the region.

 

Lawyers of the Year

Entries for this award should focus on THREE (3) work highlights that have a significant Asian regulatory element and set new standards in the delivery of high-level legal services and solutions, thereby demonstrating the individual’s market-leading position. Please summarize the key features, importance and creativity of each matter, outlining the lawyer’s role.

Lawyer of the Year awards include:
M&A Lawyer of the Year
Finance Lawyer of the Year
Securities Lawyer of the Year
Litigation and Investigations Lawyer of the Year
Energy and Infrastructure Lawyer of the Year
Trade Lawyer of the Year

The judging committee will expect to see evidence of: 
1. Legal expertise and innovation 
2. Regulatory/commercial strategy and solutions
3. Industry knowledge and experience
4. Leadership and efficiency
5. Client satisfaction 
6. Contribution to the field, industry or legislation

Note on dispute cases: For litigation and arbitration cases to be considered as relevant matters, they must be DECIDED at least once; ongoing litigation and arbitration cases will NOT be considered. We encourage you to only submit cases you’ve won; cases decided against you will not be considered useful evidence.

Please fill out the following table. All fields must be completed. The three transactions, cases or other matters must have executed between January 1, 2018 and Date of Entry:

Lawyer category 
Lawyer name 
Position at firm 
Three (3) relevant matters 
(Max. 600 words total) 
Winning qualities 
(Max. 300 words) 
Recommend an individual at another firm and why 
Referees 
 

Grand Prizes

Asian Pro Bono Initiative of the Year
This recognizes projects or initiatives that best honor the spirit of pro bono during the period between January 1, 2018 and Date of Entry. Consideration will only be given to law firm initiatives when Asia-based lawyers donate their time on pro bono legal works or related legal research and training programs to benefit the less fortunate in local communities around the region. Please also provide an appropriate written reference that illustrates the success of the initiative(s). 

Asian Diversity Initiative of the Year
This award recognizes projects or initiatives law firms implement in Asian offices to improve diversity and inclusion in gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability. Please describe how the program or initiative works, who are the key members and the scale it has been implemented. Entries may include evidence of program achievements such as statistics, references and written feedback from employees that illustrate its success.

Asian Technology and Innovation Initiative of the Year
This award aims to recognize law firms use technology and innovation to improve efficiency and add value to their services. Firms may enter programs using artificial intelligence or other technological innovation during discovery, due diligence and documentation. Please describe how the program or initiative works, who are the key members and the scale it has been implemented. Entries may include evidence of program achievements such as statistics, references and written feedback from clients that illustrate its success.
 
Alternative Legal Service Offering of the Year
This new award is open to ALL alternative legal service providers and traditional law firms with alternative legal service arms. Please describe the main offerings, how many lawyers employed and the average percentage of lawyers on projects. Entries may include evidence of market reception, list of clients and recent projects, ongoing or completed.

Grand Prize: Asian In-House Legal Department of the Year
This award goes to the best in-house legal department at a company in Asia that has been doing outstanding work. Self-nominations from heads of legal are welcome, as are submissions from law firms wishing to recommend an exceptional team. 
Please explain why the department deserves to win the award. Include an overview of the major projects executed and teamwork attributes displayed during the stated period, and how specific regulatory and commercial challenges were overcome through creative means. 

The judging committee will expect to see evidence of:
1. Strategic vision
2. Legal expertise and innovation
3. Industry knowledge and experience
4. Troubleshooting and regulatory/commercial solutions
5. Employee and team development
6. Client satisfaction
7. Contribution to the success of the business
8. Teamwork and efficiency 

Please be sure to also describe the size and structure of the legal department, the scope of responsibilities and concrete examples of how the department has helped the company achieve its strategic objectives. Please also include three major projects executed during 2018. The limit is 600 words. 

Grand Prize: Asian/International Law Firm Leader of the Year 
These prizes go to two Asia-based managing partners each at a local and international law firm who have displayed excellence in leadership, commitment to the group’s members, as well as stability or growth in headcount, level of services, and jurisdictional and practice area coverage. Efforts to launch unique projects, initiatives or alliances that deliver a competitive advantage for the firm will be especially considered.
Submissions are not required for these categories.
 
Grand Prize: Asian/International Law Firm of the Year
These ultimate prizes each go to a local and international law firm that have successfully demonstrated the ability to deliver cutting-edge legal services and solutions for clients in the region, an unmatched strength, distribution and market-leading position of key partners and teams, and an exceptional performance in the Asian legal business market all year round. 
Submissions are not required for these categories.