China Business Law Awards 2022


The sporadic recovery of the pandemic in different parts of the country has continued to impact production and lives. Strong regulatory moves were made in industries like the internet, education, and real estate, which have accelerated market reshaping. All sectors have faced challenges despite the macroeconomic pressures. China’s legal marketplace is an excellent example of companies rising.

We are honoured to have both boutiques and general practices leverage their strengths to grow their businesses, improve their service capabilities, and sometimes set new revenue records.

Chinese law firms expanded their overseas presence while growing steadily in the country. They opened new offices in major international cities like Toronto, Seattle, Vientiane and Singapore. International law firms also participated in many major transactions, both locally and internationally.

We have seen traditional areas like capital markets, M&A, and dispute resolution lawyers create innovative deal structures and flexible strategies to secure substantial target amounts with their impressive strengths. While for emerging and hot practices, such as data security and criminal compliance, law firms set up dedicated teams in 2021 or efficiently adjust their resource allocation to meet the rising demand for these services.

We conducted extensive research and evaluation to find the best-performing firms in each area in 2021. This included collecting submissions from law firms and listening to industry feedback. We received over 1,000 comments from senior lawyers, corporate counsel, and executives. The entire selection process was free of charge.

To be precise, the evaluation phase scored firm candidates based on three sources: firm submissions, endorsement from client referees, and valid nominations in the industry. To accurately reflect the market recognition, the firms accepted no internal nominations. We also received nominations from peers, the judiciary, and academia.

Notable is the fact that this year’s submissions show a marked improvement over previous years. We are happy to report that the submissions not only detail transactions but also share quantitative metrics, which helped our research team better understand the firms’ achievements. This is especially true for Chinese law firms. It reflects their increasing focus on business development and the steady increase in the internationalization of Chinese firms.

This year, the China Business Law Awards adopts the same category as last year and is divided into industry sector awards, practice area awards, and general awards. Each award is presented to eight Chinese and eight international companies, with some exceptions due to restrictions in Chinese law or special categorizations.

Several awards can be won, including the Golden League, Best international and offshore law firms, Firms To Watch, Pro-bono achievers and Notable achievers.

These 22 practice areas include Anti-bribery and anti-corruption, Asset management, Banking & Finance, Capital markets (domestic), capital markets (overseas), Competition & antitrust, and Corporate compliance. Data protection and data privacy. Dispute Resolution (domestic), dispute resolution (international). Employment & Labour. M&A (inbound & domestic), M&A(outbound), Private equity and venture capital. Restructuring & Insolvency. Structured finance. & securitization.

These 15 industries include Aviation, Construction, infrastructure, Consumer and Retail, Education, Energy, natural resources, Family wealth management and Fintech and Blockchain. Healthcare/pharma and life sciences, Financials and manufacturing. Insurance and reinsurance. Internet and eCommerce. Media/entertainment and sports. Real estate and REITs. Shipping. Technology & telecoms.

These awards are presented to firms that offer a wide range of services and have national recognition. We have created a separate “China Business Law Awards (Regional Awards)” in response to China’s booming legal market. This award provides a detailed look at the achievements of local branch offices and firms. These results will be available in August.

This report does not include all of the market testimonials and achievements. We must emphasize that every law firm in each category was equally exceptional, and we congratulate our winners.

Brian Santiago

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