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Insights into the Chinese Legal Market

Beijing

In late 2017, Who’s Who Legal visited Beijing to meet some of China’s leading commercial lawyers and learn more about the legal market in one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies. Interviewees emphasised the significant role of international work in their practice, the increasing complexity of legal questions, and the challenges of meeting heightened client expectations. These factors have led to a thriving legal market as firms embrace new developments and adapt to this ever-changing environment. 

China 2018: Leading Firms

There is fierce competition between domestic and international firms in China, who compete “head to head” for top clients and transactions. In order to succeed, law firms must constantly innovate and adapt to rapid changes in the market, the internationalisation of businesses operations, technological developments and heightened client expectations. There is a huge volume of work available, and in this complex market clients recognise the need for highly skilled and experienced legal counsel to help them realise their commercial objectives.

Insights into the Indian Legal Market

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India, the world’s second-largest country in terms of population, and the third fastest-growing emerging nation, occupies a significant position in the Asian economy. A demographic explosion in the post-war years (catapulting the country’s population to over 1.3 billion people), a burgeoning middle class and an ambitious government led by Narendra Modi have done much to promote India’s appeal to domestic and international corporations. The country’s legal market remains the preserve of domestic full-service firms, many of which operate on a traditional, family-run model. Protective legislation is also in place to bar entry to foreign law firms. The restricted legal market remains a divisive issue with government officials, clients and lawyers seeking to open up the market to foreign competition. In late 2016, Who’s Who Legal travelled to India to meet some of the country’s leading lawyers and discuss developments in the Indian market.

Indian Law Firms: Overview

May 2015 saw India’s “Big Six” firms become seven leading players. The dissolution of the largest and most prestigious law firm, Amarchand Mangaldas Suresh A Shroff (AMSS), into two constituent elements – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas – has had little effect on their fortunes, and both new firms occupy a leading position in the market, although the gap with their traditional competitors has narrowed. As the legal market is still closed to international players, domestic firms with national coverage dominate the landscape. This looks set to continue for some time as they continue to grow in both stature and expertise. Here we explore the leading firms in India.

Insights into the South Korean Legal Market

Seoul

Sandwiched between China in the West and Japan in the East and sharing a northern border with the Kim regime, South Korea occupies a unique position in East Asia. Benefiting from significant Western investment following the Korean War, it has become one of the world’s leading trade nations and is now the fifth largest export economy in the world and the sixth most complex economy. However, the ability to practise in Korea had until recently been strictly limited to Korean firms. With government legislation to open up its legal market, this is beginning to change. Earlier this year, Who’s Who Legal travelled to Seoul to meet some of the country’s leading lawyers and to find out more about the changes taking place in South Korea.

South Korean Law Firms: Overview

The South Korean legal market continues to be dominated by the “Big Five” firms that established themselves in the second half of the 20th century. However the country has recently seen a rise in the number of boutiques and new firms being established, therefore diversifying the market. Moreover, international firms, though currently in their infancy, may one day come to form a significant part of the market. Here we explore the leading law firms in South Korea. 

Insights into the Singaporean Legal Market

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Who’s Who Legal recently visited Singapore to take a closer look at the Singaporean legal market and conduct interviews with the leading international, national and specialist firms to see what changes are taking place and what impact the latest developments are having on the country’s legal market resulting in the following exclusive report. "With the market filling up fast, competition is fierce, and firms must hone their Singapore strategy to differentiate themselves in the market."

Singapore: Legal Marketplace Analysis

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Inspired by our recent research into the market, we single out four highly regarded national firms and 15 leading international and specialist firms who are considered the most significant players in the Singaporean legal market based on feedback from thousands of private practitioners and in-house counsel around the world. Rajah & Tann | Allen & Gledhill | Drew & Napier | WongPartnership | Clifford Chance | Bird & Bird | Dentons Rodyk | Withers KhattarWong | Norton Rose Fulbright | Ashurst | Morgan Lewis Stamford | Latham & Watkins | Clayton Utz | Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer | Holman Fenwick Willan | Walkers | Herbert Smith Freehills | King & Spalding | Pinsent Masons MPillay

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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W11 1QQ, UK