Second annual survey to identify Singapore's best law firms launched

2 categories added: Technology, Media, Telecommunication Law and Best Offshore Law Firm

Following its successful debut last year, the second annual survey to identify Singapore's best law firms has been jointly launched by The Straits Times and German-based research firm Statista.

The survey opens today and closes on July 26. Once its results are compiled, an updated list will be available of the 100 best law firms here in various practice areas, from commercial and criminal law to banking and intellectual property law.

The listing of the top 100 firms will be the result of lawyer recommendations, client responses and user comments from the survey, following analysis by Hamburg-based Statista.

Two more categories have been added to the list this year - Technology, Media, Telecommunication (TMT) Law and Best Offshore Law Firm - underscoring these increasingly significant practice areas.

Participation in the survey is free. The results will be published by ST in November.

Last year, 4,716 respondents took part in the online survey and more than 10,000 recommendations were received.

A total of 98 law firms made the lists of the 15 categories, with 265 mentions, that is, several firms were listed in more than one category.

Last year's ranking featured a diverse spread of large and small firms with heavyweight law firm Allen & Gledhill heading the pack, having garnered the sole distinction of being named in all 15 categories.

"Our partnership with Statista to uncover Singapore's best law firms had a strong response in last year's inaugural run," said Mr Warren Fernandez, ST Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English, Malay and Tamil Media group.

"By making refinements to the categories this year, this unique Singapore-centred guide will stay current with developments in the legal industry and continue to provide good value to lawyers, clients and the public at large," he added.

Statista founder and CEO Friedrich Schwandt said: " Transformation is the buzzword of our time... yet in my mind, there are few traditional industries where the changes are as fundamental as in the legal industry. Our joint research provides guidance as to which law firms cope best with this challenge, illustrated by excellent legal services."

Industry players are keen to see how recent legal developments that impact law firms will be reflected in the survey results.

"Clients are welcoming alternative legal service providers and engaging with more legal solutions and technology than ever. Some law firms invest in technology while others work round the clock to offer more personalised services. The survey will have different results this year and I am hoping for a comparison report, which we will be excited to share with our members," said Singapore Corporate Counsel Association executive director Mel Nirmala.

  • Methodology

  • Singapore's best law firms are identified based on recommendations made by lawyers (peer-to-peer survey), in-house lawyers (corporate legal departments), and clients and legal service users in the practice areas of law listed.

    The participant list of lawyers and others is drawn up after Statista's research on company websites and other publicly available sources.

    Invitations are sent by e-mail with a personalised link that can be used only once. In addition, lawyers and clients can also participate in the survey at: https://www.statista.com/page/best-law-firms-sgp.

    Participants must provide a personalised company e-mail address for validation purposes, before their answers are included in the evaluation.

    The survey will remain open and available online between June 7 and July 26.

    Self-recommendations (recommendations from one's own, associated or allied law firm) are not allowed and will be disqualified.

    Participants are also polled on some optional relevant questions that are meant to draw a better insight into Singapore's legal world.

    All valid recommendations are analysed for each of the 17 categories of law practice listed.

    Based on the results, between five and 20 of the top law firms are identified for each of the categories and ranked according to the number of recommendations they received in these categories.

    A total of 100 law firms are expected to be listed, with many expected to make the cut in more than one category.

Melbourne-based Singaporean Dharmendra Yadav, a legal consultant at innovation and strategy firm Alpha Creates, said the survey results last year " have been far better received" than he expected.

"The Straits Times has been able to effectively leverage its strong ground expertise to benchmark law firms. It remains the only ranking of its kind purely focused on law firms in Singapore by a reputable Asian broadsheet. Other law firm rankings tend to compare firms across different jurisdictions."

He added: "Given the pandemic, I expect the next set of survey results to be driven by various trends and may show up, for the first time, law firms which have done very good work and successfully brand themselves remotely."

Statista partner Thomas Clark who mooted the project last year, ascribed the "massive response" then to the great reach of ST, in addition to the efforts of Statista and others.

Lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, whose law firm was one of the top two in the Criminal Law category last year, said: "This award is a great endorsement of our skill and expertise in high-stakes criminal defence.

"We thank all our clients for their trust in us and look forward to see this sustained."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2021, with the headline 'Second annual survey to identify Singapore's best law firms launched'. Subscribe