King & Wood Mallesons has been crowned ‘Most Innovative Law Firm’ Asia Pacific at the inaugural Financial Times Asia Innovative Lawyer awards.
The firm received high praise for its bold strategy which has culminated in the creation of world’s first global law firm headquartered in Asia.
Commenting on the firm’s achievement, Global Managing Partner Stuart Fuller said: “This is a significant honour for the firm and a terrific external endorsement of our strategy of being a pioneering, client-centric, innovative firm uniquely positioned to connect Asia to the world and the world to Asia. As a firm, King & Wood Mallesons is challenging the accepted thinking about the future of global law firms and we have uniquely positioned ourselves in what has been a very crowded landscape. Unlike foreign firms that have entered the Asia-Pacific region, we are building a global practice from a base within the region which is truly innovative and it is great to see this is resonating and being recognised with clients and the market.”
The firm also had three deals commended in the ‘Corporate & Commercial’ category and the firm’s corporate strategy and was ranked as ‘standout’, the highest ranking possible. KWM won the award as most innovative firm in the ‘Finance & Capital Markets’ Asia-Pacific category, for the firm’s role in establishing the Australian Clearing House for OTC Derivatives in Australia. This one-of-a-kind deal has fundamentally reshaped the fabric of financial market infrastructure in Australia and is representative of the industry-leading, cutting-edge advice that is the hallmark of KWM’s offering to clients.
The Financial Times (FT) named Global Managing Partner Stuart Fuller in an elite list of just 10 individuals singled out by the publication as the most innovative leaders.
The FT praised Stuart’s bold vision in bringing King & Wood and Mallesons together to create a “regional giant” when other firms were looking to the West and credited him with being a key driver behind catapulting the firm into a new “super league” following the merger with SJ Berwin last year.
Stuart’s role in driving a strategy which connects Asia-Pacific economies to each other and to the rest of the world was highlighted. The awards emphasised Stuart’s role in integrating the firm and aligning its strategy, management and operations. Together with the firm’s Chairman Wang Junfeng, Stuart is leading the 100 lawyer plan, which aims to have 100 partners and lawyers working in different parts of the firm at any one time.
The awards were accompanied by a special FT Innovative Lawyers Report which ranks the top 25 firms in the region and KWM led the Asia-Pacific rankings by a significant margin. Each law firm entry was scored on originality, rationale and impact and the top 25 rankings are a pure aggregate of each law firm’s scores for ranked submissions across the private practice categories of the report.
The FT Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers Report is based on 300 submissions and more than 450 interviews were conducted with senior lawyers and executives to arrive at the final rankings.