ONE of Singapore's leading law firms, WongPartnership, has been named the Most Innovative Asean Law firm by The Financial Times (FT) - the only Singapore law firm to have been singled out in the inaugural FT Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers Awards 2014.
FT decided to extend its Innovative Lawyers (FTIL) awards to this region, after having had the awards in Europe since 2006 and in the United States since 2009.
The research for these awards is conducted by specialist research company RSG Consulting. Instead of dealing with the usual criteria of measuring lawyers by revenues, profits or deal sizes, the FTIL seeks "to uncover the real value that lawyers give to business and reward those lawyers who are consistently furthering the interests of their clients, their own firms and the profession itself".
WongPartnership was recognised as a result of its work in several mega deals, including ThaiBev's $13.8 billion takeover tussle for Fraser & Neave, IHH Healthcare Berhad's $2.4 billion initial public offering and concurrent dual listing on the main market of the Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad and the main board of the Singapore Exchange, and Ascendas Hospitality Trust's $384.8 million initial public offering.
Of the award, the firm's joint managing partner Ng Wai King said, "WongPartnership is honoured that a Singapore-based firm was selected for this region-wide recognition . . . Much of our advisory work involves cross-border transactions, spanning multiple countries. We are thus building our network of firms and alliances throughout this dynamic region (with a focus on developments in Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia)."
Other notable winners in the 2014 FTIL Asia-Pacific Awards include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as Most Innovative Law Firm among the internationally headquartered firms, Malaysia's ZICOlaw for Innovation in Corporate Strategy, Slaughter & May for Innovation in Corporate Law for internationally headquartered firms and India's AZB & Partners and South Korea's Bae, Kim & Lee for the same award for the regionally headquartered firms.