Client Service Report: Singapore 2019

As part of the research process for asialaw Profiles we survey buyers of legal services for their feedback on:

  • Assessment and Rating of law firms and lawyers’ quality of service and work
  • Upcoming market trends

Here is a snapshot of the data for Singapore:

Firm attributes

We ask clients to rate law firms on the following (from 1 poor to 5 excellent):

  • Costs transparency
  • Extensive local/international network
  • Industry sector knowledge
  • Technical ability and innovation
  • Use of technology
  • Value for money
  • Client relationship management
  • Risk management

 

Best firm by individual attribute

  • Costs transparency: Blackoak
  • Extensive local/international network: Morgan Lewis Stamford
  • Industry sector knowledge: Bird & Bird ATMD
  • Technical ability and innovation: Oon & Bazul
  • Use of technology: Oon & Bazul
  • Value for money: Morgan Lewis Stamford
  • Client relationship management: Oon & Bazul
  • Risk management: Blackoak

 

Best firms in order (based on aggregate score)

  • Oon & Bazul
  • Blackoak, Morgan Lewis Stamford (tied)
  • WongPartnership
  • Bird & Bird ATMD

 

General statistics

Highest rated law firm attribute: Overall Client Relationship Management                           

Lowest rated law firm attribute: Use of technology

 

Lawyer attributes

We ask clients to rate lawyers based on the following attributes (from 1 poor to 5 excellent)

  • Communication
  • Commercial understanding
  • Country knowledge
  • Industry sector knowledge
  • Listening to and implementing feedback
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Responsiveness and accessibility
  • Technical ability

 

Best lawyer based on aggregate score

Ashok Kumar, Blackoak

 

General statistics

Highest rated lawyer attribute: Commercial understanding, Responsiveness and accessibility (tied)

Lowest rated lawyer attribute: Industry Sector Knowledge

 

Market feedback

Topic that concerns clients most

Regulatory or governmental changes

How law firms can assist clients:

  • Providing market update on what types of funds and trends are seen in Fund management business
  • Proactively update us on changes and guide us on solutions for our EXISTING funds (i.e. their past mandates, not just on future business)
  • Sharing with us what other regulators in other countries do.
  • Provide good support on changes in regulatory matter which is of paramount importance in the carrying on of our business
  • By organising free seminar or legal updates from time to time.
  • Regular briefs and email updates on changes - organising round table discussions with peers
  • Follow up on post-contract regulatory changes/progress
  • Do more lunch talks on those common topics. Introduce more experts in this area to share regional practice.
  • Regular briefing and updates. Understanding business realities and advising how to meet regulatory requirements in a balanced way.
  • Where relevant to send out circulars on industry / financing topics / changes
  • Regular updates/newsletters with relevant regulatory information in digestible/bite sized chunks.
  • Provide opinions.
  • Providing timely updates and taking a proactive interest in how such changes/ matters may affect our specific business
  • We operate in 80+ countries and it is difficult for us to keep abreast of regulatory developments in all places with any level of consistency. I wish our external counsel would provide us relevant updates, especially of proposed or coming changes so we can prepare - not just an email once things have changed.

 

Which practice area do they anticipate to give more work to external legal counsel in the next 12 months

Regulatory

Which practice area do they anticipate to give less work to legal counsel in the next 12 months

No clear trend

 

How can law firms improve their service to clients?

  • Better communication on costs incurred
  • Better IT system
  • Better speed of deliverables. More suggestions on other areas of concerns- eg taxation, structuring the organization to minimize liability.
  • By being a stop solution for multiple jurisdiction
  • Deepen the bench strength at Associate level
  • Expansion of expertise to litigation
  • Explore technology that can better manage project timelines and documentation.
  • Have bulletins and updates on legal sectors of various industries it handles work in
  • Hire more experienced staff at the partner level. Highlight strengths of regional network and cross-border deals.
  • Integrate better with global firms
  • It could use more various means to put pressure upon the opposite party in the dispute.
  • It may be useful for the company to provide a more extensive coverage of industries but this entirely depends on the direction of the firm.
  • More consistent document styles/formatting
  • More extensive use of technology to deliver and receive documents of large size.
  • More training for new recruits before they start to service customers.