In an ultra-competitive market, client service delivery is a decisive factor for buyers of legal services in choosing which leading law firm and lawyers to instruct.
For the asialaw Profiles 2021 edition client survey, Lily Liang at Chungs Lawyers received consistent positive feedback for delivering high-quality service in Banking and finance.
Ms. Liang shares the firm's success at delivering client service excellence with asialaw.
How does your firm add value to your clients?
Our firm is committed to providing value to our clients. As an experienced legal counsel specializes in capital markets, we provide creative and flexible legal solutions to our corporate clients and pays due consideration to their specific business goals. We are known for adopting innovative approach in structuring transactions.
Our legal service comes with business and commercial advice with a view to promote the long term and sustainable growth of our clients’ businesses. As such, we view ourselves more of a business partner with our clients rather than being their external advisor as we consider the success of our client as ours too. There are a number of our clients which have grown considerably since we have first being engaged.
What is the key to maintaining long term client relationships?
We have deep and long-term relationships with many of our clients and we consider that this as one of the most important factors contributed to the successful of our firm.
We see ourselves as a business partner with our clients, and, therefore, we always aim to understand their business needs rather than going after the most lucrative deals for the firm. For most of our clients, we act as the one-stop shop and provide them a full spectrum of legal service. To us, every mandate from the clients is big, even though the number on the mandate is small.
Direct and efficient communication with our clients is what we always strive for. We spend a lot of time on client relationship building through various channels, such as newsletters, industry updates, insight pieces and regular trainings.
What internal training services do you provide to your lawyers to ensure they maintain high standards?
Our firm is a big believer of two-way education between our junior and senior staff which means that trainings need not always be done in a top-down manner. Instead, our firm carries out regular in-house trainings led by young lawyers who, in fact, often provide fresh perspectives and creative ideas when it comes to new development in the industry. This model of training indeed ensures that all staff of our firm could keep abreast of the latest innovations and provide high quality products to our clients consistently.
We also believe that the opportunity to work on the actual transaction is the best training our staff could possibly get. Therefore, we often involve our junior lawyers in transactions deeply. Besides the technical legal knowledge, we believe the soft skills and hands-on experience is invaluable.
What do you think differentiates your firm’s services from your peers?
We believe the importance we attach to long-term client relationships rather than focusing on short term profits sets us apart from our peers. How well we are able to understand and meet our clients’ need are our true focuses instead of the number of hours we have billed. Many of our clients not only reach out to us repeatedly themselves, but also consistently recommending us to their peers. We believe these serve as testimonies of the value we brought to our clients with our legal expertise and business perspective.
Besides, our firm has an extensive reach in the PRC by associating with a well-established firm in the PRC, DeHeng Law Offices, which has established oversea branches as well. Positioning ourselves as a firm with deep root in Hong Kong and the PRC together with effective connections and communication with the oversea branches of DeHeng Law Offices allow us to provide a full spectrum of service to take care of all every needs of our clients.
Has your firm implemented technology to meet your clients needs? If so, what did you introduce?
In line with the sustainability trend, we consciously reduce the use of paper by digitization and going paperless. Through the availability of digital copies together with the use of cloud platform, we have experienced a boost of efficiency in terms of workflow as documents can now be shared without the barriers in sharing the same copies in physical forms. In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the past year, we have also conducted more and more virtual due diligence sessions and meetings. These new forms of technology are especially helpful where our clients are seeking a listing in Hong Kong but with their principal business located elsewhere.
Smartphones and personal communication applications are also used by our firm on a daily basis to provide legal service to our clients in a timely manner, but at the same time with due regards to any vulnerability or risks of the confidentiality issue from our IT department.
How do you ensure you stay relevant to your clients?
We are well aware that the legal as well as the business sector is constantly changing and evolving. Keeping abreast of the latest innovations and trends are some of the keys to provide high quality products to our clients consistently.
Our lawyers participate in conferences regularly and are members of various associations. Externally, we conduct trainings for clients, such as their in-house CPD trainings. We believe these are the occasions which allow us to stay relevant and in touch with our clients.
Are there any changes you are considering implementing in the near future to better serve your clients?
In line with our approach to digitization, we are constantly considering implementing the latest technology to our workflow and introduce innovations to our legal services to our clients. Virtual meetings and due diligence are especially helpful in these times amid the pandemics, which we planned to employ in more and more projects. Recently, we have also learned about robotics process automation and its possibility to fit in the Legal Industry, which we may consider adopting in the near future to simplify our workflow and raise our efficiency.
How do you manage the costs and budgets of your clients?
We try to keep our legal service at a reasonable price for our clients by deploying our staff in a flexible manner.
What different payment models or schemes do you offer (eg. Hourly basis, project basis, etc.).
We offer a range of payment models which clients could choose the one best suit their needs. For example, we could charge on an hourly basis or a project basis, and even a hybrid model which we charge an hourly rate with a capped fee on top.
How does your firm allocate staffing resources for your client’s work in terms of seniority and/or budget to meet the client’s needs?”
We try to keep our legal service at a reasonable price for our clients by deploying our staff in a flexible manner. Partners and senior lawyers would often spend most of their time on client communication, strategic planning and focusing on the long-term goals for a project, while junior lawyers are responsible for the execution. Our non-legal staff would handle administrative and other miscellaneous non-legal tasks. We believe that structuring our team in such a way could keep our fees reasonable without sacrificing the high quality of work we strive for.
Where does your firm or lawyers demonstrate leadership thinking or insight pieces to show its on top of legal and business updates?
We attend seminars and issue newsletter or client updates from time to time to ensure our clients are aware of the important changes in the industry.
How does a firm handle conflicts (like work conflicts, between clients)?
To ensure we could act in the best interest of our clients, we conduct conflict checks carefully before representing a client or participating in a transaction. Our firm has a number of standard KYC procedures before we commit ourselves to the mandate by the clients.
In addition, where there is a need to maintain confidentiality in order to prevent conflicts of interest, we would adopt a virtual barrier, or the “Chinese Wall”, as a means to self-regulate our dealings by creating such boundary between our internal teams where we are representing multiple sides in the same deal.
Chungs Lawyers in association with DeHeng Law Offices firm rankings and leading lawyer list can be viewed here.