Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2016

Asialaw highlights top dispute resolution firms and individuals

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 AC, 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 arbitration 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 below.

Outstanding practitioner of the year

Nicholas Hunsworth, Mayer Brown JSM

Lifetime achievement winner

The Honourable James Spigelman AC, QC

International law firm of the year

Herbert Smith Freehills

National law firm of the year

Gilbert + Tobin

Fangda Partners

Hong Kong
Wilkinson & Grist

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas

Assegaf Hamzah & Partners

Mori Hamada & Matsumoto

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill

New Zealand
Chapman Tripp

Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz

Drew & Napier

South Korea
Kim & Chang

Lee and Li

Tilleke & Gibbins


Disputes star of the year winners

Colleen Platford, Gilbert + Tobin

Helen Shi, Fangda Partners

Hong Kong
James Wadham, Davis Polk & Wardwell

VP Singh, AZB & Partners

Tony Budidjaja, Budidjaja & Associates

Akihiro Hironaka, Nishimura & Asahi

Cecil Abraham, Cecil Abraham & Partners

New Zealand
David Cooper, Bell Gully

Emmanuel Lombos, SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan

Paul Tan, Rajah & Tann

South Korea
John Bang, Bae Kim & Lee

Daniel Song, Lee and Li

Phisit Dejchaiyasak, Weerawong Chinnavat & Peangpanor

Truong Trong Nghia, YKVN

Rising star

Simon Chapman, Herbert Smith Freehills

Arbitration practitioner of the year

Justin D'Agostino, Herbert Smith Freehills

Barrister of the year

Roxanne Ismail SC, Temple Chambers


Best in compliance & regulatory

Allen & Overy

Best in construction & real estate

Hogan Lovells

Best in energy & natural resources

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Best in insolvency

Kirkland & Ellis

Best in insurance

Clyde & Co

Best in IP

Hogan Lovells

Best in TMT

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

Best in labour & employment


Best in shipping & maritime

Ince & Co

Best in tax


Best domestic arbitration firm of the year

Rajah & Tann

Best international arbitration firm of the year

Allen & Overy

Disputes boutique of the year


Matter of the year

Accent Delight International Ltd v Bouvier, Yves Charles Edgar

Tanner De Witt
Tan Kok Quan Partnership
Allen & Gledhill

The shortlist for this year's awards can be found here.