On a night that recognised the leading dispute resolution advisers in Asia, Nicholas Hunsworth of Mayer Brown JSM won the trophy for outstanding practitioner at the second annual Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2016. The citation for Hunsworth’s award described him as “a veteran litigator who has been involved in a broad variety of high-profile cases in Hong Kong covering commercial disputes”.

James Spigelman AM, QC, a non-permanent judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal since April 2013, was named as the winner of the lifetime achievement award, which was given to “honour the individual on the basis of the impact of their work over the course of their career”. Spigelman,  a former chief justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, is a member of One Essex Court chambers in London as an arbitrator.

International law firm of the year for dispute resolution was Herbert Smith Freehills and the boutique disputes firm was Gall. For arbitration, the international award went to Allen & Overy and the domestic prize was taken by Rajah & Tann.

Other individual awards went to Simon Chapman of Herbert Smith Freehills as the rising star; Roxanne Ismail SC of Temple Chambers as barrister of the year and Justin D’Agostino of Herbert Smith Freehills, who was picked as arbitrator practitioner of the year. 

The awards ceremony, which took place in Hong Kong on September 27, also honoured the top dispute resolution practitioner and national firm of the year of the year in 14 jurisdictions, and the best firms of the year at resolving disputes in 10 practice areas.

Three firms were the co-winners for matter of the year, which was selected as Accent Delight International Ltd v Bouvier, Yves Charles Edgar. Tanner De Witt, Tan Kok Quan Partnership and Allen & Gledhill were recognised for a case that was described as “a ground-breaking judgment dealing with worldwide Mareva injunctions. The Singapore Court of Appeal delivered for the first time, a definitive clarification of the relationship between allegations of dishonesty against a defendant and a real risk of dissipation of assets”.

Remarks from Sarah Grimmer, the new secretary general of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, and Duncan Pescod, chairman of the Children’s Heart Foundation, which supports Hong Kong children with congenital heart defects and their families preceded the awards ceremony. The charity was the beneficiary of a silent auction during the event. 

Asialaw’s editorial staff chose the winners and nominees after extensive research between April and August 2016.

All the winners are listed here.