King & Wood Mallesons is the best known law firm in the Asia Pacific region, the latest ranking by London-based market research firm Acritas shows.

The Sino-Australian firm rose from the second place last year, displacing Baker & McKenzie, which has topped the Asia ranking since 2013. The Chicago-based firm followed closely with only one point behind. Herbert Smith Freehills scooped up the third place, with Korea’s Kim & Chang and fellow Anglo-Australian firm Ashurst taking the fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Clifford Chance, Chinese firm JunHe, Linklaters, Australia’s Minter Ellison, DLA Piper and Tokyo-based Nishimura & Asahi, in that order, rounded out the top 11 with DLA and Nishimura tied in 10th place.

Linklaters, despite losing a dozen partners in Asia over the past year, saw the largest leap in brand rankings, climbing to eighth place from last year’s 20th. In addition to Linklaters, Minter Ellison, DLA and Nishimura were all new entrants to the top 10 ranking.

Norton Rose Fulbright, ranked fourth last year, and Allen & Overy, 10th in 2015, were edged out of the top 10 this year. So was India’s legacy Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co, which took the sixth place last year; Acritas cited the division of brand equity by the split between the Shroff brothers as a reason for the fall.

Firms

2016 Rank

2016 Scores

2015 Rank

Rank change

King & Wood Mallesons

1

100

2

+1

Baker & McKenzie

2

99

1

-1

Herbert Smith Freehills

3

66

3

0

Kim & Chang

4

43

5

+1

Ashurst

5

39

7

+2

Clifford Chance

6

38

9

+3

JunHe

7

35

8

+1

Linklaters

8

34

20

+12

Minter Ellison

9

30

20

+11

DLA Piper

10

28

14

+4

Nishimura & Asahi

10

28

11

+1

Acritas said the brand index was based on telephone interviews of 375 Asia Pacific-based senior in-house lawyers and 255 legal buyers based outside the region. Respondents are selected randomly, according to Acritas; and the interviews were done throughout the course of 2015.

The survey consisted of five parameters, asking corporate counsel to rank: the “first five law firms that come to [their] mind,” the top three firms that they “feel most favorable towards,” the three firms they are “most likely to consider for both top-level and multijurisdictional litigation,” the three firms they are “most likely to consider for both top-level M&A and multijurisdictional deals,” and the five firms they are using the most for high value work.

Law firms were awarded points on a scale of 5 to 1 per mention, with 5 being the highest score for first ranking. Acritas then combined all the points for each firm and ranked them accordingly; the firm with most points—King & Wood Mallesons, in this case—received a score of 100 and all the other firms’ scores were calculated against that.

“[The index] is a reflection of which firms are upper-most in clients minds, whom they are most attracted to and whom they are most likely to give their work,” Acritas said of its brand ranking.

Findings of Acritas’ survey also indicated rising legal spending in the Asia Pacific region. The London-based research firm said that 17 percent of the respondents in the region said they would increase legal spending in the next 12 months, which was twice as many as the global average. It also found that 2 percent more companies in Asia Pacific anticipated an increase in international legal spending, comparing to global average.

Email: azhang@alm.com.

King & Wood Mallesons is the best known law firm in the Asia Pacific region, the latest ranking by London-based market research firm Acritas shows.

The Sino-Australian firm rose from the second place last year, displacing Baker & McKenzie , which has topped the Asia ranking since 2013. The Chicago-based firm followed closely with only one point behind. Herbert Smith Freehills scooped up the third place, with Korea’s Kim & Chang and fellow Anglo-Australian firm Ashurst taking the fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Clifford Chance , Chinese firm JunHe, Linklaters , Australia’s Minter Ellison , DLA Piper and Tokyo-based Nishimura & Asahi , in that order, rounded out the top 11 with DLA and Nishimura tied in 10th place.

Linklaters , despite losing a dozen partners in Asia over the past year, saw the largest leap in brand rankings, climbing to eighth place from last year’s 20th. In addition to Linklaters , Minter Ellison , DLA and Nishimura were all new entrants to the top 10 ranking.

Norton Rose Fulbright , ranked fourth last year, and Allen & Overy , 10th in 2015, were edged out of the top 10 this year. So was India’s legacy Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co , which took the sixth place last year; Acritas cited the division of brand equity by the split between the Shroff brothers as a reason for the fall.

Firms

2016 Rank

2016 Scores

2015 Rank

Rank change

King & Wood Mallesons

1

100

2

+1

Baker & McKenzie

2

99

1

-1

Herbert Smith Freehills

3

66

3

0

Kim & Chang

4

43

5

+1

Ashurst

5

39

7

+2

Clifford Chance

6

38

9

+3

JunHe

7

35

8

+1

Linklaters

8

34

20

+12

Minter Ellison

9

30

20

+11

DLA Piper

10

28

14

+4

Nishimura & Asahi

10

28

11

+1

Acritas said the brand index was based on telephone interviews of 375 Asia Pacific-based senior in-house lawyers and 255 legal buyers based outside the region. Respondents are selected randomly, according to Acritas; and the interviews were done throughout the course of 2015.

The survey consisted of five parameters, asking corporate counsel to rank: the “first five law firms that come to [their] mind,” the top three firms that they “feel most favorable towards,” the three firms they are “most likely to consider for both top-level and multijurisdictional litigation,” the three firms they are “most likely to consider for both top-level M&A and multijurisdictional deals,” and the five firms they are using the most for high value work.

Law firms were awarded points on a scale of 5 to 1 per mention, with 5 being the highest score for first ranking. Acritas then combined all the points for each firm and ranked them accordingly; the firm with most points—King & Wood Mallesons, in this case—received a score of 100 and all the other firms’ scores were calculated against that.

“[The index] is a reflection of which firms are upper-most in clients minds, whom they are most attracted to and whom they are most likely to give their work,” Acritas said of its brand ranking.

Findings of Acritas’ survey also indicated rising legal spending in the Asia Pacific region. The London-based research firm said that 17 percent of the respondents in the region said they would increase legal spending in the next 12 months, which was twice as many as the global average. It also found that 2 percent more companies in Asia Pacific anticipated an increase in international legal spending, comparing to global average.

Email: azhang@alm.com.