King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) was presented with two awards at the 2019 Financial Times Asia Pacific Innovative Lawyers Awards in Hong Kong last night across the ‘strategy and changing behaviours,’ and ‘accessing new markets and capital’ categories.
The firm was recognised for its world-first Greater Bay Area-focused ‘KWM International Center’ which connects KWM offices in the key GBA cities of Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hainan to provide an integrated service offering targeting the anticipated areas of opportunity arising from the development of the GBA - from fintech & financial services to corporate compliance to cross-border disputes.
The GBA is expected to attract unprecedented international investment into the region, calling for consistent international standard service delivery by lawyers deeply entrenched in both PRC and Hong Kong. However, there will be many challenges in harmonising the different legal systems and there will be a need to establish international standards and enhance the rule of law.
“The GBA strategy is in many ways a blueprint for KWM’s unique combination,” said Global Chief Executive Partner, Sue Kench.
“The strength of our domestic skills, knowledge and expertise together with our world-class international platform will enable us to provide an integrated service offering for clients looking to do business in the region,” she continued.
The firm also won the ‘accessing new markets and capital’ category for the firm’s role advising the World Bank and Commonwealth Bank on the world’s first public bond to be created and managed on the blockchain, known as the Bond-i. The resounding success of the issuance re-affirmed that the market was ready and open to use emerging technologies for innovation in capital markets.
KWM was shortlisted for the ‘Most Innovative Law Firm’ (Asia Pacific headquartered law firms) as well as for the firm’s role in HKEX’s launch of The Qianhai Mercantile Exchange commodity trading platform in the ‘legal expertise’ category.
Commenting on the firm’s achievements, KWM Global Chairman, Wang Junfeng said that the recognition in the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards is an honour and is testament to our reputation for thinking outside the box and going beyond the law meet the future needs of our clients.
“We are operating in a world where change, complexity and disruption is constant. It is essential that we continue to build on our legacy of innovation and think outside the box to help our clients succeed in an ever shifting operating environment.”
The FT Innovative Lawyers Awards assess lawyers and legal firms on their innovation for clients and within their own businesses. They are accompanied by a special FT Innovative Lawyers Report published in the Financial Times. The report ranks the top 25 most innovative firms in the Asia Pacific region.