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创新时代 与法同行︱Innovation in Interesting Times

作者: Stephen Mulrenan           编辑:YTL


While the top independent firms in the Asia-Pacific region maintained steady growth in 2017, many sought first-mover advantage in innovation.

2017年亚太地区的顶级独立律师事务所保持稳定增长,许多人在创新中寻求先行者优势。


In the context of the recent escalation of trade tensions between the US and China, the old Chinese proverb `May you live in interesting times' seems an apt description of developments in 2018. But while tension may bring about some uncertainties, the vast majority of legal market analysts remain highly optimistic about growth prospects for the Asia-Pacific region. 

在最近中美贸易紧张升级的背景下,中国古老的谚语“愿你生活在有趣的时代”似乎是对2018年发展的一个恰当描述。尽管紧张可能带来一些不确定性,但绝大多数法律市场分析师仍对亚太地区的增长前景高度乐观。

 

According to the World Bank, GDP growth across the Asia-Pacific is expected to exceed 6 percent this year powered mostly by the region's big three economies of China, Japan and India. While this rate of growth is predicted to slow over the next three years in China and Japan—from 6.4 percent to 6.2 per cent, and from 1.3 percent to 0.5 percent, respectively—GDP in India will rise from 7.3 percent this year to 7.5 percent by 2020.

根据世界银行的数据,今年亚太地区的GDP增长预计将超过6%,主要是由中国、日本和印度三大经济体带动的。中国和日本未来三年的增长率预计将分别从6.4%下降到6.2%,从1.3%下降到0.5%,而印度GDP将从今年的7.3%上升到2020年的7.5%。

 

With the corresponding rise of the middle class right across the region, independent law firms are targeting growth in areas such as health services, education, food security and tourism. Another area of focus is work around the development of smart cities, including transportation, telecommunications and technology, Big Data and cyber security.

随着这些地区中产阶级的崛起,独立的律师事务所正瞄准卫生服务、教育、食品安全和旅游等领域的增长。另一个重点领域是围绕智慧城市的发展,包括交通、电信和技术、大数据和网络安全。

 

And there is an urgent need to find innovative solutions to the region's infrastructure development needs, which are predicted to exceed $22.6trn through 2030, or $1.5trn per year, to maintain current growth.

现在的律师事务所急需找到创新的解决方案来满足该地区的基础设施发展需求,预计到2030年,这些地区的基础设施发展需要将超过22.6万亿美元,或以每年1.5万亿美元来维持当前的增长。

 

For example, many independent firms are hoping to see more opportunities arising from China's One Belt One Road initiative—a development strategy designed to bridge the infrastructure gap along the land and maritime trade routes connecting China with Africa, Asia and Europe—particularly as government-to-government co-operation between China and `host' countries escalates.

例如,许多独立的律师事务所希望看到中国的“一带一路”倡议带来更多的机会。这一发展战略旨在贯通中国和非洲、亚洲和欧洲的陆路和海上贸易线的基础设施差距,尤其是中国与东道国之间的政府间合作逐步升级。


Home-grown Firms `Globalise on Their Own Terms'本土律所“全球化”


In connection with Belt and Road, a few Chinese firms have taken the initiative and launched some of the first legal service alliances with international member firms that are dominated by Chinese lawyers. This is perhaps an example of what King&Wood Mallesons ( KWM) described, in its submission for this year's. The Lawyer Asia-Pacific 100 report, as "home-grown Asian firms becoming more dominant and wanting to globalise on their own terms".

伴随“一带一路”的发展,一些中国律师事务所已经积极行动并与中国律师主导的国际公会发起成立了第一法律服务联盟。这也许正是KWM在今年提交的描述中的一个例子。亚太律师100报告称,“本土的亚洲律师事务所越来越占据主导地位,并希望以自己的方式全球化”。

 

In the more mature legal jurisdictions of Australia and Singapore, some law firms are following this development closely.

在澳大利亚和新加坡较为成熟的法律管辖范围内,一些律师事务所正在密切关注这一发展。

 

Faced with clients who favour discounted hourly arrangements and/or capped agreements and who wish to move away from traditional relationship-based engagements, some firms have started investing significantly in systems and talent connected to emerging technologies. Believing that technology and the adoption of artificial intelligence(AI) and augmented reality (AR) will be a major source of disruption for firms in the future, they are attempting to avoid becoming archaic and therefore redundant in the eyes of their clients by establishing this clear point of differentiation from their rivals.

面对那些偏爱按小时安排上限协议的客户,他们希望远离传统的基于关系的业务,一些律师事务所开始大量投资与新兴技术相关的系统和人才。相信技术和人工智能(AI)和增强现实(AR)的使用将是未来律师事务所的主要干扰源,他们试图与对手建立明确的区分点,从而避免在客户眼中显得陈旧过时。


Inevitable Growth 必然增长


The Lawyer's sixth annual report on Asia-Pacific's largest 100 independent firms by lawyer numbers shows that the number of lawyers housed by these 100 firms increased by 15 percent last year, from 44,891 in 2016 to 51,599. This matches the 15 percent increase in numbers in 2016 from the 38,967 recorded a year earlier. And a review of headcount growth over five years shows that it is in the past two, in particular, that the recruitment drive has really escalated (total lawyer numbers have increased by 37 percent since 2013).

第六届亚太地区最大的100家独立律师事务所的年度报告显示,去年,这100家律师事务所的律师数量增加了15%,从2016年的44891增加到了51599。这一数字与去年同期的38967相比,增长了15%。对五年来的人数增长的回顾表明,过去两年中,特别是招聘工作确实升级了(自2013以来,总的律师人数增加了37%)。

 

In that same period the partnerships of the largest 100 independent firms have grown by 49 percent. This includes last year's 15 percent rise in the total number of partners, from 12,676 to 14,579, which was double the pace of growth recorded in the previous two years.

在同一时期,最大的100家独立律师事务所的合伙人增长了49%。这包括去年合作伙伴总数的15%,从12676上升到14579,这是前两年增长速度的两倍。

 

While collectively the top 100 firms have become larger, this year's Asia-Pacific 100 data shows that not every firm has expanded its legal team. Although the majority (80) certainly did, 13 saw a decrease and sup stayed flat. While the number of firms reducing their headcount in 2017 was 13 fewer than a year before, nearly half of them were from Australia while an other two were from New Zealand, showing the challenges facing firms in highly competitive and low-growth legal services markets.

虽然前100家律师事务所的规模越来越大,但今年的亚太100数据显示,并非所有律师事务所都扩大了其法律团队。尽管大多数(80家)确实如此,但约13家的人数减少了,而其余则持平。2017年有裁员的律师事务所数量少于13家,比一年前减少了,但近一半来自澳大利亚,而另外两个来自新西兰,显示了高竞争和低增长法律服务市场中律师事务所面临的挑战。

 

Unlike last year, when there were four new entrants to the list of top 100 firms, there was only one change of firm this year, further emphasising the robustness of these firms' business models. Chinese firm Anjie joins the list this year after Australian firm Henry Davis York merged with Norton Rose Fulbright, continuing a recent trend of mid-size firms in the country combining in some way with international firms.

去年有四个新进入者进入前100家律师事务所的名单,今年只有一个的变化,进一步强调了这些律师事务所的商业模式的稳健性。今年,在澳大利亚律师事务所Henry Davis York与Norton Rose Fulbright合并之后,中国律师事务所安杰加入了这一名单,延续了中国一些中型律师事务所与国际律师事务所结合的最新趋势。

 

Like last year, this year's top 100 firms come from 12 jurisdictions. China remains the most  represented country with 37 firms included. Australia comes second with 21 and India is third with 12.

与去年一样,今年的前100家律师事务所来自12个司法管辖区。中国仍然是最具代表性的国家,包括37家。澳大利亚位居第二,包括21家;印度第三,包括12家。

 

Also like last year, Chinese firms performed most strongly in comparison with their counterparts in the region. Excluding the addition of Anjie, the combined number of lawyers in 2017 at the 36 Chinese firms that have consistently featured in the list over the past three years was 28,498. This represents an increase of 22.05 percent on 2016's figure of 23,352, which itself was 20.23 percent higher than the 19,423 recorded in 2015. This increase is much faster than the average growth rate of the Top 100 in 2017, which is 11.1 percent.

与去年一样,中国律师事务所与本地区的同行相比,表现最为强劲。截至2017年,不包括安杰,在过去的三年里,36家中国律师事务所中律师的合计人数是28498。报告显示,2016年增长了22.05%,达到23352,高于2015年,增长了20.23%,达到19423。这一增长速度比2017年度前100名的平均增长速度快了11.1%。

 

As a result, seven of the top 10 largest firms in this year's Asia-Pacific 100 ranking are from China. While this is two fewer than last year—one, if KWM's redesignation as a Hong Kong firm is not included—Chinese firms make up 13 of the top 20, the same as in 2016. The new entrant in the top 10 is South Korean firm Kim&Chang, which moves up one place to 10th.

因此,今年亚太100排名前10大律师事务所中,有七家来自中国。虽然比去年少了一名,但如果KWM重新命名为香港律师事务所不包括在内,中国律师事务所在前20名中占13名,与2016年一样。新晋前10名的是韩国律师事务所Kim&Chang,上升一位到第十位。

 

Chinese firms also make up eight of the 10 fastest-growing firms in this year's ranking, with TianTai and DeHeng increasing their lawyer headcount by more than 50 percent. Beijing-based TianTai was the fastest-growing firm in the region in 2017 and rises 14 places in the rankings as a result. Its lawyer numbers increased by more than 57 percent from 368 in 2016 to 579 1ast year, while partner numbers rose by 64 percent from 151 to 248. While much of this growth can explained by its national expansion—it added six new offices—total revenue for 2017 was also impressive, rising by 26 percent to nearly RMB466m.

在今年排名10个增长最快的律师事务所中,中国也占了8个,天驰君泰和德恒的律师人数增长了50%以上。总部位于北京的天驰君泰是2017年度增长最快的律师事务所,因此排名上升了14位。其律师数量增长了57%,从2016年的368人上升到去年的579人,合伙人数量增长了64%,从151上升到248。虽然这一增长的大部分可以通过它的国际扩张来解释——增加了六所办事处——2017的总收入也令人印象深刻,增加了26%,达到了466亿元人民币。

 

Meanwhile, DeHeng's phenomenal growth in 2017 sees this Beijing-headquartered firm regain the three Places it lost last year. Its qualified lawyer numbers increased by 54.9 percent, from 1,510 to 2,339, making it the second fastest-growing Asia-Pacific firm in 2017. In contrast to TianTai, DeHeng's recruitment drive bolstered the depth of resources at its current locations. However, it enjoyed an even more impressive hike in revenue of 33 percent to RMB2bn.

与此同时,2017年德恒的惊人增长让这家总部位于北京的律师事务所重获去年失去的三个席位。其合格律师人数增加了54.9%,从1510上升至2339,成为2017年度亚太地区第二增长最快的律师事务所。与天驰君泰相比,德恒的招聘推动了其当前位置的资源深度。不过,更令人印象深刻的,它的收入增长了33%,达到了220亿元人民币。




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