International firms Mayer Brown JSM, Allen & Overy, Freshfields and Indian firm Luthra & Luthra were the worst performers in this year’s ALB 50, our guide the largest law firms in the Asia Pacific region.
Of this group, Mayer Brown JSM was by far the worst performer, slipping down 17 places in this year’s rankings. The firm ranked 11th in last year’s survey but could only manage 28th this year. This meant that the firm not only ceded its position as the region’s second-largest international law firm (behind Baker & McKenzie) to Clifford Chance, but also that is now some 60 lawyers lighter than it was last year; it now only has 281 lawyers on the books in Asia.
Freshfields experienced losses of simlar proportions. After weighing in with 50 less lawyers this year the firm just crept into the top 50 this year in 48th place meaning it fell 16 places from 2009. Allen & Overy dropped down the ALB 50 table by 11 places going from 13th position in 2009 to 24th this year. Although the firm did not supply details of its Asia headcounts to ALB, information from its website indicates that the firm shrank by 18 lawyers in this period.
Paul Hastings and White & Case were among a clutch of law firms to fall completely off the ALB 50 table this year. Paul Hastings’ drastic downsizing over the last 12 months saw it forfeit 47th place on the table while White & Case lost 39th position. ALB’s research indicates that even if the list had been rebranded as the ALB 60 this year, Paul Hastings would still not have made the cut. Its 116 lawyers and 30 partners would have placed it at around 65th while White & Case would likely have come in at around 57th. It should be noted that White & Case did not provide its Asia headcount data for this year’s survey. The above estimate is based on announced lateral hires, layoffs and relocations over the past 12 months.
Luthra & Luthra, which shared 41st place in 2009 with Morrison & Foerster, just snuck into this year’s fifty in 49th place.
The full ALB 50 table for 2010, as well as separate lists for each jurisdiction across Asia, will be published in the October edition of the ALB Magazine.
For details of the best performing firm in this year’s ALB 50 please click here.ALB
An earlier version of this incorrectly included Korean law firm Yoon & Yang stating that firm had lost 47 lawyers. The firm in fact gained 11 lawyers in this period. ALB regrets this error.
Other related stories: