asialaw Profiles Webinar & FAQs

If you are responsible for managing legal directory submissions, then please:

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.

  • Practice area surveys
  • Firm interviews
  • Firm rankings and awards
  • Clients
  • Confidentiality
  • Leading Lawyers (individual practitioners) list
  • Other questions

Practice area surveys

Q1: What is the best approach to complete your online practice area surveys?

A: Firms should use the practice area guidance documents to prepare answers before going online to submit.

You should PRINT the guidance document pages that require the attention of the heads of the practices. The following sections should be prioritised: Specialities, Strengths, Peer Evaluation and Awards. You should only print the Peer Evaluation and Awards pages for your jurisdiction. We then recommend distributing these sections to the relevant practices and conducting routine follow-up with your colleagues to ensure the surveys are submitted on time.

Q2: Where can we access the practice area surveys?
A: You can access the practice area surveys here. The questionnaires are organised by practice areas and not jurisdictions.

Q3: Do we have to complete all the practice surveys?

A: You must complete the practice area surveys for which you want your firm to be ranked.

Q4: When are the deadlines for your surveys?

A: Please see our research timeline and submission deadlines here.

Q5: May we submit practice area surveys 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 online survey.

Q7: We have offices in more than one jurisdiction in Asia-Pacific. When completing our practice area survey(s), how should we manage the online submission process?

A: Please submit separate questionnaires per practice area for EACH jurisdiction. Your firm is one of two types.

Justice & Partners: The firm intends to submit a practice area survey in more than one market BUT there is more than one person responsible for the multiple submissions.

Fairness & Co: The firm intends to submit a practice area survey in more than one market AND there is one and only one person responsible for the multiple submissions.

Justice & Partners:

  1. People responsible for legal directory submissions at Justice & Partners can respond to the practice area surveys as normal.
  2. As long as people are not completing the same practice area survey more than once, regardless of jurisdiction, then they can submit with no delay.

Fairness & Co:

  1. The one and only person responsible for legal directory submissions at Fairness & Co needs to complete the first practice area survey in the first jurisdiction.
  2. Then the person needs to contact the research analyst assigned to the jurisdiction with the subject heading: Survey submitted for [Firm name, practice area, jurisdiction]
  3. Within 72 hours, the research analyst will inform the person that the second jurisdiction can be completed.
  4. If the person has responses for other jurisdictions in the SAME practice area, then you would repeat the above steps, informing the analyst each time.

Q8: From which month should our client matters or work highlights start?
A: Client matters should not be older than May of the preceding year. For asialaw Profiles 2019, matters should not be older than May 2017. We will disregard previously submitted work highlights, unless there has been a major development, so please submit new matters.

Q9: asialaw Profiles covers 13 practice areas. 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. Some occasions warrant further scrutiny. Please review the guidance document for examples of specialities in the practice areas. The specialities will likely guide you towards the most appropriate practice area survey. If you still have questions, then please contact us.

Q10: Would you consider practice area surveys 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: Is it required to complete the Specialities, Strengths, Peer Evaluation and Awards sections?

A: Yes, your practice head and/or other leading partners must rank each firm in the Specialities, Strengths, Peer Evaluation and Awards sections. Nobody knows the local market like your partners. To reasonably evaluate practice areas, we use your submissions, partner and peer interviews and client feedback.

Q13: Why should we complete the Specialities, Strengths, Peer Evaluation and Awards sections?

A: Your practice areas can benefit from routinely assessing your competitors. Is a peer gaining strength or showing signs of weakness? The submissions process is an opportunity, especially in the Specialities, Strengths, Peer Evaluation and Awards sections, to foster dialogue among fee earners and play a role in your practice and firm’s strategic planning. Maximising the participation of the firms in the awards will boost the programme’s credibility, for the benefit of clients and firms.

Q14: Will in-house counsel be able to access or review submissions for evaluation?

A: No, asialaw does not share submissions with third parties.

Firm interviews

Q1: Is it mandatory to submit a practice area survey 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 practice area survey 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 practice area surveys on time. See our methodology page for more. There will be an opportunity to send extra information for the categories not covered in asialaw Profiles: pro bono, innovation and newcomer. The survey will include details about how to do this.

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 in 2018. It will be held sometime between October 1 and early December. We are finalising the date and location. Information will be posted here. Additional information about the awards is below in the Firm rankings and awards section and here.

Q11: Will you use any of our 2018 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 practice areas, we use responses in the online survey, 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 15 clients. 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 click YES when we ask whether the client’s name is confidential on the online practice area survey. For the confidential work highlights, please begin and end the non-publishable part with the word ‘Confidential’. Anything not marked accordingly may be published without notice.

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:

  • A market-leading lawyer is a head of practice and / or with a management role in their firm, and has an exceptional record of client service.
  • A notable leading lawyer is a long established member of a practice team with a reputation for superior client service.
  • A rising star is a lawyer of less than seven years’ experience who has made an immediate impact as an adviser in their practice area.

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.

Other questions

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 our business development team. Attribution is normally: ‘asialaw Profiles [year]’. For the latest logos, please also contact the business development team.

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 David Doré at with subject line: FAQ – asialaw Profiles.

Links to more information

If you have further questions after reviewing the information on the pages below, then please contact us.

asialaw Profiles research methodology
asialaw Profiles research schedule & deadlines
asialaw Profiles survey links & documents
asialaw Profiles research contacts
asialaw Leading Lawyers
asialaw Awards

asialaw social media networks