Benchmark is a specialist information provider of the dispute resolution and litigation market. Benchmark Asia-Pacific is the definitive guide to local, regional and international practices in the following jurisdictions:
China ▫ Hong Kong ▫ India ▫ Indonesia ▫ Japan ▫ Malaysia ▫ Singapore ▫ South Korea ▫ Vietnam
Benchmark Asia-Pacific is the culmination of six months of research between November 2017 and April 2018 that allows our researchers to conduct extensive interviews with dispute resolution specialists and litigators, and their clients. During these interviews we examine recent casework handled by the firms and ask sources to offer their professional opinions on practitioners within their jurisdiction or practice area(s) across the region.
The ratings and commentary are divided on a national basis. We identify leading local and international dispute resolution and litigation firms and attorneys. Depending on market feedback, we may also rate firms in the following dispute specialties:
Administrative & regulatory ▫ Appellate ▫ Aviation ▫ Bankruptcy & insolvency ▫ Capital markets & securities ▫ Business & general corporate ▫ Commercial & transactions ▫ Competition & antitrust ▫ Construction, energy & infrastructure ▫ Insurance ▫ Intellectual property ▫ International arbitration ▫ Labour & employment ▫ Plaintiff ▫ Product liability & recall ▫ Real estate ▫ Shipping & maritime ▫ Tax ▫ Trade & customs ▫ White-collar crime
Benchmark Asia-Pacific is based on extensive consultation with the market of local, regional and international practices. Our research has four main sources: surveys, partners, clients and independent research.
We survey dispute resolution and litigation practices and practitioners about their activities during the previous year. We ask for descriptions of the practice’s most significant matters, key contacts and performance metrics. We also invite clients and practitioners to complete the client and practitioners’ survey to glean additional information.
To take part please fill out our ONLINE SURVEY FORM
We strongly advise that you prepare aswers in advance before filling out the survey.
To view the survey questions please download the survey PDF (for guidance purposes only)
To help streamline the interview process, we have offered some guidelines for scheduling partner interviews with our researchers. Here is what to expect, along with what we expect.
Researchers expect interview candidates to speak on their own individual practices and (where applicable) that of any other litigators in the firm deemed worthy of Benchmark’s consideration who are not available to interview. This includes highlighting relevant achievements and/or casework, where applicable. Researchers also ask interviewees to comment on market trends, such as new legislation or precedents, and review peer firms and individuals in the market, either speaking intuitively or by referring to Benchmark.
Interviewing with us does not guarantee being listed and/or editorialized in Benchmark Asia-Pacific. Interviews will be conducted in-person and by telephone between November 2017 and April 2018.
Can I customize the questionnaire or must it be in the current format?
The questionnaire must be completed in the current format. However, within this, you are free to provide as much or as little data as you wish. With regard to partners and cases being put forward for consideration, however, we would advise that you exercise judgment and provide information that reflects an honest internal assessment of your firm. In other words, focus on the partners and cases that you would consider to have had maximum impact during the past 12 months (or, if a case is ongoing, during the past several years.) Feel free to provide as many client contacts for reference as you wish.
Can I just provide the same information that I provided to Chambers or another publication?
Yes – so long as it relates to your dispute resolution and litigation practice, you can simply copy and paste the information you provided to Chambers or any other similar publication into our questionnaire.
How does Benchmark differ from Chambers or other competitors?
Benchmark focuses exclusively on dispute resolution and litigation in Asia-Pacific, which differentiates us from other legal directories that cover a broader spectrum of legal services and geography. This allows us to provide a much more in-depth analysis of the litigation and disputes market. Benchmark is also editorially driven, rather than statistically driven, and strives to avoid being over-inclusive. We aim to cover only firms and litigators that are of an elite status – our ratings are divided up into simply those who are “recommended” and “highly recommended.” Firms included in both tiers were deemed worthy of inclusion via our studies of the market, with the “highly recommended” firms earning the most mentions as being dominant in their field.
How much influence do we have over our ratings vs. the external market?
Firms are encouraged to tell their story via our online questionnaire and attorney interviews. We then measure the firm’s input against the feedback we receive via studying the market. If our studies are in harmony with the firm’s assertions, we weight them equally. If there is an extreme disparity between the firm’s views and a pronounced percentage of the market, we will provide greater weight to the market consensus.
If we participate, are we guaranteed to get rated and/or have commentary?
No, there is no guarantee that a firm who submits a questionnaire and/or an attorney that interviews with us will be rated and/or receive commentary.
Should we list confidential cases/clients? How do we ensure these remain confidential?
Feel free to list confidential clients/cases only if you feel we should be aware of these, and we will certainly be respectful of confidential agreements – please note clearly on your questionnaire that this is the case so that we do not report on it.
When/how do you contact clients?
We will contact clients through an online client survey as soon as the contact information is provided via the questionnaire. The survey will ask clients about the firms they use, why they use them, what they use them for and how long they have been using them, in research that will build a picture of how and why in-house counsel choose their external advisers for dispute resolution and litigation. We also occasionally conduct in-person meetings with corporate in-house counsel when invited to do so, whether or not they have been provided as a reference by a firm.
Do you only rate those of partner level?
Yes. Benchmark does not rate associates or senior counsel, the latter category includes former Benchmark stars who have since been de-equitized from their firms.
We’re a small boutique firm – what chance do we stand against the big brand name firms in your ratings?
Because Benchmark focuses exclusively on disputes, which is often the focus for specialist firms in the market, smaller firms stand a very good chance of being just as highly rated as large corporate firms, and in some cases even more highly rated.
We don’t do a lot of “bet-the-company” work. We do plain vanilla general commercial work, but we do a lot of it, we have a great client base, and they have given us rave reviews. What kind of chance do we stand in your ratings?
A very good chance. Benchmark’s researchers are aware that only a small percentage of litigation is going to be “bet-the-company” trial work, and we have also become aware through our studies that many in-house counsel are increasingly shopping for more cost-effective firms with high-quality litigators (which are often found in our “recommended” category) to handle work that is not necessarily of the level of “bet-the-company” but still valuable enough to demand solid commercial counsel that also has the flexibility to offer fee structures that many of the bigger “highly recommended” firms cannot match.
How do we get an in-person interview?
In-person interviews are welcomed in Hong Kong. Simply contact us and request one, and, depending on the schedule flexibility of our researchers, we can arrange one. We also intend to conduct annual visits to different jurisdictions, on rotation, around the Asia-Pacific region. In the event that we are visiting your jurisdiction, we will contact your firm to invite you to meet.
Should I wait until the firm questionnaire is complete before scheduling partner interviews?
There is no need to wait, as the interviews are not about going through the submission again. Interviews allow lawyers to tell our researchers their stories in general personal summary form, and provide us with the feedback that we require regarding peer review, market trends, in-house counsel references, etc. Questionnaires simply flesh out the firm summary in more granular detail. It is not necessary for interviewed partners to come armed with all of the hard details behind their work. The best practice for interviewing with us is to start as early in the process as possible. Our researchers have much more flexibility in their schedules between November and January, than they will from February to April, providing for much more choice regarding time slots. Conversely, there is also often a desire among the partners to wait until the questionnaires are completed before being interviewed. That is their choice – however, waiting until later in the research process means coping with a much smaller window of flexibility in scheduling, and possibly being shut out of the interview process altogether. It greatly helps both the firms and our researchers if you don’t wait.
Can I review my firm’s editorial in advance of press and suggest changes to it?
No. Firms cannot be allowed to view their editorials prior to press, and are never allowed to have their own input into how they read.
Do firms have to complete the survey online? Or can we send documents directly to researchers instead?
You should complete the survey online. If you experience any issues connecting to the survey form please contact the research team.
Can I partially complete the online survey, save it and return to it later?
The online survey must be completed in full, it cannot be saved and returned to later. We suggest you prepare your answers in advance using the guidance document which is available from the hyperlink above.
What is the readership of Benchmark Asia-Pacific?
The readers of Benchmark include law firms and buyers of legal services/in-house counsel.
Is Benchmark "pay-to-play?" If I don’t support the project financially do I still get rated?
Benchmark Asia-Pacific is absolutely not "pay-to-play." Firms cannot pay to appear in the guide, and can only be rated if the market deems them worthy of consideration. Financial support is eventually solicited from the firms, as a form of an endorsement for your firm being selected by a quality resource like Benchmark and as a means of allowing us to continue financing the enterprise. However, this financial support can only be provided by firms that have been vetted by the research and editorial process beforehand. Declining to financially support Benchmark will not in any way affect a firm’s ratings or editorial status. However, conversely, client firms do enjoy additional benefits such as complete lists of rated lawyers prior to press, first priority with receiving web results, and scheduling priority and increased travel budgets for non-local in-person interviews.
I have a question that’s not answered here. Can I contact anyone to ask it?
Lead researcher, Joanna Yang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publisher, William Lo at email@example.com.