Mayer Brown JSM and Citigroup stood out from the crowd at The Macallan ALB Hong Kong Law Awards on September 11, taking home the Hong Kong Law Firm of the Year and In-House Team of the Year, respectively.

The 14th annual event, held at the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong, recognised Hong Kong’s best law firms, legal work and lawyers across a total of 39 categories. The evening, which entertained about 350 private practice lawyers, in-house counsel and business leaders from Hong Kong and the rest of North Asia, commenced with a speech from guest of honour Professor Michael Hor, Dean of The University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Law. 

Mayer Brown JSM was crowned the Hong Kong Law Firm of the Year, and also took home another four awards including Real Estate Law Firm of the Year, Insurance Law Firm of the Year and Insolvency and Restructuring Law Firm of the Year. “The firm’s success is mainly attributable to the trust that our clients have placed in us. Many of these clients have had longstanding relationships with the firm, and regard our partners as their trusted advisers. The ALB awards are a testament to the continued support given to us by our clients over many years,” said Elaine Lo, senior partner and Asia chair of Mayer Brown JSM.

Bird & Bird won awards for Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year and TMT Law Firm of the Year, while Baker & McKenzie bagged prizes for Tax and Trusts Law Firm of the Year, Wealth Management Law Firm of the Year and Corporate Citizenship Law Firm of the Year. 

The event also recognised the achievements of Hong Kong’s in-house legal community. Citigroup was unveiled as the Hong Kong In-House Team of the Year, and also bagged awards for Banking and Financial Services In-House Team of the Year, Debt Market Deal of the Year, Equity Market Deal of the Year, M&A Deal of the Year and Hong Kong Deal of the Year. Alibaba Group was voted the Hong Kong Corporate Counsel Association Innovative In-House Team of the Year, while Goldman Sachs took home the prize for the Lewis Sanders Investment Bank In-House Team of the Year.

The night also recognised individual excellence, with Rodney Chen of MTR Corp and Yong Kai Wong of Citic Capital jointly winning The Macallan Fine Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky Award In-House Lawyer of the Year Award. “I am very grateful to the panel of judges and the other finalists in the event. I think the other finalists are fantastic and just feel very fortunate and grateful,” said Wong. 

“Apart from luck, I suppose it was a hands-on and creative approach towards being an in-house legal team for an alternative asset management firm that probably sets us apart from the rest. I always believed that it was important to constantly challenge the norm and work out solutions, within the existing and commercial framework, to solve our problems.”

Julie Gao of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Jeanette Chan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison were joint winners of the Dealmaker of the Year Award. 

“To me, this award should go to the firm. No one person can be a “dealmaker” without the support of his/her team.  In my case, I am fortunate to have a fabulous team, many of whom have worked with me for over a decade,” said Chan.

“I am grateful for the loyalty and the dedication of my colleagues who, together with me, have worked so hard to service our clients. My partners are also instrumental to me getting this award. Their support to my practice is key and essential for our continued success. Of course I am also thankful to our clients, for their trust and confidence in both me and the firm.”  

Elaine Lo capped off a successful night for Mayer Brown JSM, taking home the prestigious award for Managing Partner of the Year. “The [Managing Partner of the Year] award should belong to all my partners and staff in Mayer Brown JSM, whose unwavering commitment to deliver high quality services to clients has secured this recognition,” said Lo.

“In Mayer Brown JSM, we aspire to continuous improvement and selfless teamwork.  We believe that our people are our greatest asset, and we spare no effort to provide them with opportunities to develop their skills and enable them to reach their full potential.  The encouragement, guidance and support given to me by my colleagues has undoubtedly helped me to win this prestigious award for the third time.

For the full list of winners, please click here.

ALB Law Awards 2015 series

 ALB Malaysia Law Awards 2015 – Kuala Lumpur, March
• ALB China Law Awards 2015 – Beijing, April
• ALB SE Asia Law Awards 2015 – Singapore, May
• ALB Japan Law Awards 2015 – Tokyo, June
• The Macallan ALB Hong Kong Law Awards 2015 – Hong Kong, September
• ALB Indonesia Law Awards 2015 – Jakarta, October
• ALB Korea Law Awards 2015 – Seoul, November