In-house counsel from across the globe voted for this year’s recipients of the PLC Which lawyer? Awards. Voting was conducted on the PLC Law Department website where counsel were invited to vote for law firms in six regional categories and for the PLC Which lawyer? International Law Firm of the Year.
In each category, the PLC Which lawyer? research team put forward a list of five nominees, based on interviews with lawyers, in-house counsel and general market feedback received from various sources. Additional factors taken into consideration included the successful implementation of strategy and consistency of performance and/or improvement in this year's PLC Which lawyer? Yearbook rankings.
In all seven categories, in-house counsel were free to put forward their own nominations along with reasons for their choice.
Winner: Allen & Overy
Voters’ comments:“long-term commitment, real international presence - not just out-post offices”,“excellent quality”, “near seamless service”.
Nominees: Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Jones Day and White & Case.
The recipients of this year’s regional awards are:
Winner: Latham & Watkins
Voters’ comments: “responsive and client-orientated”, “superb service”.
Nominees: Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and Weil Gotshal & Manges.
Winner: White & Case
Voters’ comments: “highly competent”, “positive attitude”.
Nominees: Baker & McKenzie, Cuatrecasas' network, Pinheiro Neto, Uría & Menéndez's network and White & Case.
Winner: Baker & McKenzie
Voters’ comments: “reliable and consistent advice”.
Nominees: Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, CMS Cameron McKenna, Linklaters and White & Case.
Winner: Mannheimer Swartling
Voters’ comments: “overall professional approach”, “regional expertise”.
Nominees: Kromann Reumert, Mannheimer Swartling, Roschier Holmberg, Vinge and Thommessen Krefting Greve Lund.
Voters’ comments: “superb provision of value-adding updates”, “good co-ordination between offices”.
Nominees: Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Lovells and Norton Rose.
Winner: Baker & McKenzie
Voters’ comments: “Quality service”.
Nominees: Baker & McKenzie, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Johnson Stokes & Master, Herbert Smith and Mallesons Stephen Jaques.
In addition to the above, the PLC Which lawyer? team acknowledges the following firms for their recent achievements:
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek (European offices)
For being the most frequently voted for non-nominated firm in this year’s PLC Which lawyer? Awards. An impressive number of votes came in for De Brauw in two categories: Western Europe and Central & Eastern Europe. In-house counsel cited in particular the firm’s “highly professional approach”.
AZB & Partners (India)
For having an astute, forward thinking policy that has seen the recently merged firm (of Ajay Bahl & Co and CZB & Partners) strengthen its capabilities and raise its international profile.
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary (Europe)
For completing a bold three-way transatlantic tie-up and achieving strategic growth across the US through a steady programme of lateral hires. The firm also received praise in this year’s awards poll, described by one in-house counsel as “smart, quick and business orientated”.
Keker & Van Nest (US - West Coast)
For being a remarkable litigation boutique, able to hold its own against rival West Coast giants, attracting and successfully handling high-profile, complex disputes, especially in the areas of IP and biotechnology.
Bredin Prat (France)
For its M&A practice, which has recently advised on some of the largest acquisitions in France, propelling the firm into the top ten M&A advisers in Europe. The firm’s name partner, the formidable Jean-François Prat, has worked relentlessly to make the firm the highly respected presence it is today.
The top five reasons given by in-house lawyers for their choice of firm in this year’s poll are, in order of frequency:
“Outstanding services, very competent legal team” (Kirkland & Ellis)
“Responsive and client-orientated” (King & Spalding)
Business judgment/commercial approach
“Good business judgment” (Norton Rose)
“Lawyers with a commercial approach to deals” (Lovells)
Cost-consciousness/ value for money
“Prioritises the interests of clients and aware of costs” (Coudert Brothers)
“Excellent service and value for money” (Bugge Arentz-Hansen & Rasmussen)
Breadth of service
“Highly competent and has a broad range of services” (Linklaters)
“Full service, practical advice” (Allen & Overy)
International offices/well co-ordinated network
“Good geographical coverage, useful network” (Mallesons Stephen Jaques)
“Good international co-operation” (Simmons & Simmons)
PLC Which lawyer? is updated continuously online at www.practicallaw.com/whichlawyer.