Davis Polk & Wardwell and the Korean firm Lee & Ko are among the biggest winners at the fifth annual Asia Legal Awards, held on March 22 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.
Davis Polk stood out from a group that included Kirkland & Ellis, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and the U.K.’s Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith Freehills, and claimed, for the second year in a row, the International Law Firm of the Year award.
New York-based Davis Polk had 108 lawyers across three Asian offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo in 2016, according to the most recent Asia 50 survey. The firm was also awarded Dispute Resolution Firm of the Year, while Asia managing partner William Barron was named Securities Lawyer of the Year.
Meanwhile, Seoul-based Lee & Ko took home Asian Law Firm of the Year. The finalists in that category included Singapore’s Allen & Gledhill, India’s Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Indonesia’s Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung, and China’s Han Kun Law Offices and Zhong Lun Law Firm. The 590-lawyer Korean firm also took home Finance Firm of the Year and Insurance Firm of the Year.
Mumbai-based Cyril Amarchand received Firm of the Year awards in the energy and private client practices. Skadden, whose head of China practice Julie Gao was named International Law Firm Leader of the Year, also won M&A Firm of the Year.
Asian Law Firm Leader of the Year went to Jonathan Zhou, management chair of China’s Fangda Partners.
Korean firm Bae, Kim & Lee’s program to support local firefighters received the Asian Pro Bono Initiative of the Year. Herbert Smith Freehills’ diversity and inclusion program among Asia Pacific offices was awarded the inaugural Asian Diversity Initiative of the Year, which intends to honor initiatives law firms implement in Asia to improve diversity in gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability.
EYulchon, an interactive mobile application launched by Korea’s Yulchon for in-house legal departments, was the first winner of the Asian Technology and Innovation Initiative of the Year award. U.S. litigation specialist Kobre & Kim’s two-and-a-half-year-old Seoul office took home the debut New Asian Office of the Year.
Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. received Asian In-House Legal Department of the Year award, while legal teams at Ant Financial, adidas, Shanghai Real Estate, and Uber were recognized in their respective sectors.
A full list of the winners can be found here.