2018 Asia Legal Awards
 

The Asia Legal Awards 2018 – Awards Entry criteria

Key Dates

Finalists announcement: February 6, 2018
(Chinese New Year February 16)

Awards ceremony: Thursday March 22, 2018

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 two entries per category for the Deals of the Year.

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, 2017 to December 31, 2017. 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 accepted.
Any 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 exception. However, 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 and Assets
• Securities Deal of the Year: Debt
• Securities Deal of the Year: Equity
• Private Equity Deal of the Year
• Energy and Infrastructure Deal of the Year
• TMT Deal of the Year
• Real Estate 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 two deals 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, 2017 and December 31, 2017.

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. 500 words) 

Firms of the Year
Entries for this award should focus on three 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
• Competition and Trade Firm of the Year
• Intellectual Property Firm of the Year
• Employment Firm of the Year
• Energy Firm of the Year
• Real Estate Firm of the Year
• TMT Firm of the Year
• Shipping and Maritime Firm of the Year
• Aviation Firm of the Year
• Private Client Firm of the Year
• Insurance Firm of the Year
• Offshore Law Firm 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, 2017 and December 31, 2017:

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

Lawyers of the Year
Entries for this award should focus on three 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
• International Arbitration Lawyer of the Year
• Government Enforcement / Investigations Lawyer of the Year
• Private Client Lawyer of the Year
• Tax 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, 2017 and December 31, 2017:

Lawyer category 
Lawyer name 
Position at firm 
Three (3) relevant matters
(Max. 900 words total) 
Winning qualities
(Max. 500 words) 
Recommend an individual at another firm and why 
Referees 

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, 2017 and December 31, 2017. 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 new 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 new 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.

New Asian Office of the Year
This new award is open to all firms that have opened a new office in Asia between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017. 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.

In-House Team of the Year
We are giving this award to four in-house legal teams who have done outstanding work this year in the following sectors: Banking and Finance, Consumers and Retail, Real Estate and TMT. Self-nominations are welcome, as are submissions from law firms wishing to recommend an exceptional in-house legal professional.

Please explain why the in-house team deserves to win the award. Include an overview of the major projects executed 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. Leadership and a commitment to employee and team development
6. Client satisfaction
7. Contribution to the success of the business
8. Contribution to the wider community

Please be sure to also describe the nominees’ role, areas of responsibility and reporting line, as well as the size and structure of the legal team. You may use the following table as guidance.

Company sector  
Company brief description 
Team leader(s), key members and responsibilities 
Team structure and reporting line within company 
Three major projects executed
(Max. 600 words) 
Winning qualities
(Max. 500 words) 

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.
The limit is 800 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.