Below you will also find answers to common questions concerning our research. If after reviewing all this information and you still have questions please contact us.
Q1: What is the best approach to complete your research form?
A: Answer all the questions given in detail but to the point. We only ask questions that are necessary for the research therefore we strongly encourage firms to fill in the form as much as possible. However, some firms tend to copy and paste the whole judgement into the description box - this is not helpful for the researcher as it takes a long time to extract the information we need and to understand the key points. Please keep the information straight forward and simple. Lastly, do not alter the format of the research form. Leave it blank if you do not wish to answer, do not delete it or change the actual format of the form. Do not capitalise the wordings or use multiple colours - keep the form clean and original. After completing the form(s), upload it to our online submission portal. We do not accept submission forms via email.
Q2: Where can we access the links?
A: You can access the links here. Thoroughly read through the guidelines before starting to fill out the form.
Q3: Do we have to complete forms for all practice area and industry sector categories?
A: You must complete the forms for practice area categories for which you want your firm to be ranked. We expect industry sector information to be included in the practice area form, however, if you wish to provide separate submissions for industry sector categories, you are welcome to do so.
Q4: When are the deadlines for your surveys?
A: Please see our research timeline and submission deadlines here.
Q5: May we submit after the deadline?
A: It is not in your firm's best interests to do so as your practice area submission(s) may not be considered. Our researchers work on strict internal deadlines. We need to conduct interviews and compile practice area rankings, awards shortlist and the Leading Lawyers list using information available before or on the relevant deadline. Submissions after the deadline may, however, only be used for editorial commentary.
Q6: May we submit questionnaires from other legal directories?
A: This is not generally advised as our research methodology and assessment may differ from other directories. However, to speed your submission preparation please use relevant information from those submissions, such as key partner contacts, and input into our form.
Q7: We have offices in more than one jurisdiction in Asia-Pacific. When completing our research form(s), how should we manage the online submission process?
A: Please submit separate research forms per practice area for EACH jurisdiction.
Q8: From which month should our client matters or work highlights start?
A: Client matters should not be older than April of the preceding year. For asialaw Profiles 2021, matters should not be older than April 2019. We will disregard previously submitted work highlights unless there has been a major development, so please submit new matters.
Q9: asialaw Profiles covers 28 categories. What if our matter(s) or work highlight(s) do not fit neatly into any of them?
A: We understand not all law firms share asialaw’s naming convention for practice areas. However, in most cases, common sense and discretion will guide which matters align with the relevant practice area/industry sector. Some occasions warrant further scrutiny. If you still have questions, then please contact us.
Q10: Would you consider research forms WITHOUT client matters or work highlights and/or client referees?
A: No, it is of no use to us. We need to see that your firm has been active in some way during the relevant research period of review. We also need to obtain service feedback from your current or most recent clients. The practice area surveys provide an easy way to identify confidential clients.
Q11: What is the fee to participate in the asialaw research?
A: There is no charge for being part of the research process. We encourage all firms in the region to participate to ensure our editorial provides a full overview of the legal market in your jurisdiction.
Q12: Will in-house counsel be able to access or review submissions for evaluation?
A: No, asialaw does not share submissions with third parties.
Q1: Is it mandatory to submit research forms before an interview can be scheduled with our firm?
A: No, the main purpose of the interview is to get market feedback or views on other firms and practitioners. We tend not to review the practice area submission, except when seeking clarifications and reasons for responses.
Q2: Who in our firm would you like to interview?
A: We normally interview partners or other equivalent senior practitioners. We are particularly interested in partners who can also tell us about other firms in their practice area as well as legal developments in the jurisdiction. See our research timeline and deadlines here.
Please note that not getting an interview with a researcher WILL NOT affect your practice area’s rating, but not submitting a research form might.
Q3: How do your researchers handle negative feedback about firms?
A: Researchers are coached in-house by experienced journalists on how to handle interviews and comments received. The researchers are expected to validate all information received, be it negative or positive. This may include speaking to the firm concerned to allow them a right of reply.
Please note that feedback from interviews is strictly non-attributable. See ‘Confidentiality’ section below.
Q4: Do you interview all the ranked firms?
A: Researchers interview as many, and indeed different, firms as possible during each research cycle. The researcher’s aim is to interview firms from across the tiers so as to get a balanced perspective on the market.
Firm rankings and awards
Q1: Does feedback from firms you have rated highly have more weight or influence on your rankings decision?
A: Definitely not. Feedback from all firms is equally weighted.
Q2: How do you decide on the practices and individuals to include in asialaw Profiles and asialaw Leading Lawyers?
A: The practice area ratings and Leading Lawyers list are based on independent research, survey information in addition to market feedback from peers and clients. Please see our research methodology.
Q3: I have been listed as a Leading Lawyer but my firm’s practice area is not ranked. Why is this?
A: It means we do not yet have reasonable information on your firm’s practice area(s) to warrant a ranking. This could be due to insufficient market feedback and data on your firm or lack thereof. Please note that our practice area rankings tables are not exhaustive lists of every firm doing work in a given market. It is possible to have a Leading Lawyer from an unranked firm. Please see our methodology page.
Q4: We are not happy with our firm's practice area(s) ranking(s). What should we do?
A: First please send an email to the researcher assigned to your jurisdiction, including detailed reasons why you think the ranking is unreasonable. We normally provide firms with feedback at the end of the research cycle, ie, when all the rankings and list of Leading Lawyers have been published. This ensures you get holistic feedback.
A lower tier ranking DOES NOT mean that your firm's practice area service under that category is of low quality. If your firm’s practice area is ranked in asialaw Profiles, then it means we have received information from competitors and/or clients, in addition to our own independent research, that your firm has the capacity to offer good quality service in the area in question.
Please note that that there are firms with practice capabilities that have not been ranked at all or for a particular practice area. See our methodology page. It briefly tells you how we conduct our research and draw up the practice area rankings and Leading Lawyers list each year.
Q5: We handle competition and antitrust matters but you have not ranked us under any of your competition and antitrust tiers. Why?
A: The decision to list a firm under any category is based on the quality of the practice area submissions, independent research and market feedback. Our aim is to rank firms where we reasonably believe they have the strongest capabilities. This does not mean that a firm only offers services for the practice area under which it is ranked.
Q6: Since our firm’s M&A practice is in the top five of the league tables, aren’t we guaranteed a spot in the Outstanding tier for that practice?
A: It is indeed impressive you are doing well in the league tables. But that figure is one of many factors we evaluate. Please see our methodology page for more information.
Q7: Our dispute resolution & litigation practice is in the Outstanding tier, but it has not been shortlisted for an award. Why is that?
A: A top-tier ranking does not necessarily mean that the practice area will be shortlisted for an award or even win it. Please see our methodology page for some of the factors considered.
Q8: Do we have to make a separate firm entry or submission to be considered for the awards?
A: No, all information obtained during the research cycle feed into our awards. As the research analysts work under strict internal deadlines, it is essential to submit your research forms on time. Firms have been asked for extra information on deals or cases which closed in the remainder of 2019. You can submit it through our AWARDS SUBMISSION PORTAL.
Q9: My firm submitted a practice area survey to your researcher. Why aren’t we ranked at all?
A: Submitting a questionnaire does not guarantee a ranking. Please see our methodology page. It is likely that we have not received enough information from other sources, in particular, your clients and competitors, to consider listing your firm.
We understand it can be frustrating not to be ranked having made the effort. Please continue participating each year so you can build up a strong profile with asialaw. Researchers review the rankings each year and will make any appropriate changes. Please note: Rankings in other legal directories does not mean you will be ranked by asialaw. Among our many assessment criteria, this receives the lowest attention.
Q10: Are you going to hold a ceremony for asialaw Awards for this year? Could you please give us more information about this?
A: Yes, there will be an awards dinner on 13 May 2020 at Hilton Singapore. The awards information is available here. Additional information about the awards is below in the Firm rankings and awards section and here.
Q11: Will you use any of our 2021 IFLR 1000 submission for asialaw Profiles ratings?
A: No, we use separate research methodologies and analysis. asialaw Profiles covers domestic and regional law firms. To rate firms and lawyers, we use submitted research forms, interviews with partners and clients and independent research.
Q1: How many client referees should we provide you with?
A: Feel free to submit up to 50 clients or more. The most important thing is to ensure the referees you provide are happy and willing to provide feedback.
Q2: Our clients told us they haven't been approached for feedback. The emails sent to them are treated as spam by their email systems. How do you deal with this?
A: Please tell your clients to add the email address of the researcher for your jurisdiction to their safe senders list. Also inform them to expect an email from us during the interview/client survey period.
Q3: Do the client referees we provide have to be the clients mentioned in our matters or work highlights?
A: No, but we think they are the ideal clients to provide feedback on your behalf.
Q4: How long after our firm survey submission will our clients be contacted?
A: Usually after the firm submission deadline, but a researcher may contact your clients soon after you have provided us with your client referees.
Q5: Which ones do you prefer as client referees: individuals in private practice or in-house?
A: Our preference is in-house counsel. And, we have no preference in terms of size or stature of the client’s company. However, we understand an overseas-based peer may well be the most appropriate referee.
Q6: We are concerned that our clients will be overwhelmed by calls from legal directories. Do you have any suggestions on how to mitigate this?
A: We are very sensitive about this and try to reduce the inconvenience to your clients through our process. We recommend you avoid putting forward the same clients to two or more legal directories.
Q7: Can you tell us which of our client referees you will be contacting and when?
A: We will contact all the clients you have put forward during our interview/client survey period.
Q1: Do you publish client names and work description listed under the work highlights section?
A: Yes, we may publish this. If you would like us not to include the client’s name, then please highlight in RED. For the confidential work highlights, please begin and end the non-publishable part with the word ‘Confidential’ with font colour in RED. Anything not marked accordingly may be published without notice. Keep your indication clear but not too overwhelming such as highlighting the whole page in red making it difficult for researchers to read the actual content.
Q2: Do you publish the client names in the client referees section of the practice area survey or spreadsheet?
A: No, we only use those names to obtain feedback on the relevant practice area. However, if the client name is also mentioned in the work highlights section and not marked confidential then we may publish it without notice.
Q3: How do you treat the comments you receive from interviews and surveys?
A: As can be seen in asialaw Profiles and asialaw Leading Lawyers, these are strictly non-attributable. We also never reveal the source of the information obtained.
Leading Lawyers (individual practitioners) list
Q1: Who do you select as Leading Lawyers?
A: asialaw recognises individuals in these areas:
Q2: I participated in the client and practitioner survey, why have I not been listed in asialaw Leading Lawyers?
A: The Leading Lawyers list is based on market recommendations and our independent research. Submitting a survey does not mean that you will be selected as a Leading Lawyer. Additionally, having been listed as a Leading Lawyer in a past edition does not guarantee that you will be listed in the next edition.
Please note that listing in other legal guides does not mean you will be listed in asialaw Leading Lawyers. Among our many assessment criteria, this receives the lowest attention. For more details, please see our methodology page.
Q3: What if I nominate my work colleagues, would you consider them?
A: No, please nominate peers outside your firm or company.
Q4: What do you do with the practice information I provide in the client and practitioner survey?
A: If you are selected as a Leading Lawyer, we will publish some of your legal and industry areas in the handbook. Please be aware that if we do not receive a submission then your practice area information may be left blank. If we have already received a submission from you in the past and you have confirmed your practice area information, then you do not have to complete the practice area section of the individual practitioner survey 2018.
Q5: What is the difference between asialaw Leading Lawyers and asialaw Profiles?
A: The main difference is that the Leading Lawyers list focuses on individual practitioners and asialaw Profiles concentrates on a firm’s practice areas. For more information about asialaw Leading Lawyers, please see here.
Q1: Do firms and individuals have pay to participate in the asialaw research cycle?
A: No, there is no charge for being part of the research process. We encourage all firms in the region to participate to ensure our editorial provides a full overview of the legal market in your jurisdiction.
Q2: Can a Leading Lawyer or ranked firm place an advertisement in your publication?
A: Yes, all commercial enquiries should be directed to our business development team.
Q3: We have been rated but there is no analysis or editorial on our firm’s practice area. Why is that?
A: We normally provide editorial commentary on Outstanding and Highly Recommended practice areas with pertinent market feedback and notable work highlights from the practice area submissions.
Please note that a firm’s practice area rated Outstanding may not get an editorial if the firm does not make a practice area submission.
Q4: Are we allowed to use extracts from asialaw Profiles and asialaw Leading Lawyers logos in our marketing collateral?
A: Yes but first please consult with our business development team. Attribution is normally: ‘asialaw Profiles
Q5: I would like to see how my firm and/or others have performed in your ratings over the years. Do you have this information?
A: Please contact our business development team to discuss your requirements.
Q6: I have other enquiries not covered here. Who should I contact?
A: Please send an email to the editor Joanna Yang (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Links to more information
If you have further questions after reviewing the information on the pages below, then please contact us.