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日趋激烈的行业竞争,跌宕起伏的内外局势,合伙制下的管理难题,中国律所在这样的背景下取得快速成长实属不易。ALB再次聚焦十五佳成长律所如何逆风前行、提质增效、开辟新机。

2023年6月,司法部发布《2022年度律师、基层法律服务工作统计分析》。数据显示,截至2022年底,全国共有执业律师65.16万余人,比上一年度新增7.68万,涨幅超13%;律师事务所共有3.86万余家,新增2100多家;律师100人以上的律师事务所共500家,增幅超20%。

纵使过去一年国内外环境不确定性凸显、经济增长放缓,法律服务行业也受到不小冲击,但上述数据表明,中国律师行业依然延续着近几年来的高速发展,仍有足够大的市场和空间有待中国律所探索、开发。我们有理由关注哪些律所克服困难、突出重围,成为了行业中的领跑者。

依据律所收费人员增长数量、新增核心合伙人、新添加的分所/办公室、新增重要客户、新增业务领域、营业额增长量等指标,ALB再次从中国律所发展大潮中评选出了“十五佳成长律所”榜单。这15家律所在以上关键指标中都有不俗表现,各自凭借在若干领域的绝对优势和综合实力而名列前茅。

这15家律所中,既有总部位于北京、上海、深圳的老牌大所,也有深耕区域市场的非一线城市规模所,还有刚从传统精品所转型为综合所的中型律所;其中有7家首次上榜。因不同的体量和定位,各家律所的发展策略和规划不尽相同,ALB请到了几家上榜律所,分享其不断成长的历程和面对的挑战。

逆境与新局

在“2023 ALB China 十五佳成长律所”榜单评选过程中,ALB对各家律所的观察区间为2022年4月至2023年4月。去年由春入夏,受新冠疫情影响,上海“停摆”两个月,其他城市也受到疫情不同程度的影响,这样的影响可以说一直延续到了今年初。

在这样的大背景下,本次上榜的15家律所的一个共同之处是成功抵抗住了外部环境的影响,年度创收业绩不但没有出现下降,反而逆势而上、获得增量。

位于疫情风暴中心的上海融力天闻律师事务所,在封控期间业务量下滑,但在解封后,全体律师奋起直追,业务量呈现快速反弹。这离不开融力天闻近些年的快速成长:“近年来,我们保持着每年律师队伍递增20%的稳健发展速度。” 融力天闻的主任潘定春律师说,随着办公室、人员的增长,融力天闻的业界口碑也不断巩固,创收也有显著提升,“事实证明这个速度是合适的,效果是显著的。”

据潘律师介绍,过去12个月内,融力天闻增加了上海临港分所、北京分所、广州分所、苏州分所、常州分所、韩国办事处这六个办公室。在此之前,融力天闻除了上海总部,仅有杭州、海口、太仓三家分所。

北京嘉维律师事务所也实现了过去十二月内律师人数、办公室、营业额的同步增长。“嘉维快速发展的这三年,正是疫情爆发、反复的三年。在危机中育先机、于变局中开新局,嘉维所迎难而上,屡创佳绩。”嘉维的副主任、创始合伙人曹春芳律师说。

嘉维的律师及员工数量比去年同期增长了60%,达到近400人;新开设了上海、重庆、福州、南宁、枣庄等多家分所,天津、太原、武汉、深圳、杭州等多家分所也在筹备中;今年3月,嘉维北京总所扩租了一栋大楼,两栋独栋办公室的面积扩大了一倍,达近6000平方米。“这不仅意味着嘉维办公环境的改善,也意味着整体服务能力与综合实力的提升。”曹律师说。

北京浩天律师事务所全国董事局主席蒋琪律师表示,除了疫情的影响,去年以来的全球经济衰退、中美等大国博弈以及俄乌冲突等复杂的国际政治经济因素,共同导致中国律师业进入了一个相对停滞的发展时期,而本就竞争激烈的中国律师界,出现了不利于发展的内卷现象。

浩天早已成为综合型大所,而在过去12个月里保持了发展势头不减,律所收费人员增加了530人、达到2010人,并新设了福州、南昌、西安、苏州、郑州、石家庄、太原、北京密云区和昌平区办公室,营业额也随之显著增长。

蒋律师表示,根据浩天今年上半年总部及30余家办公室的表现,预计依然会保持营业额的增长,这些成绩离不开浩天近年来对律所中台服务的建设和品牌的打造,“浩天已经以全新的面貌展现在中国律师世界中了”。

制度与管理

数量增长所带来的增益体现出规模化仍旧在中国律所发展过程中扮演着驱动角色。而在激烈竞争中,诸多律所都在强调保持清醒,追求适度的、有质量的规模化。为此,本次上榜的15家律所纷纷从制度和管理层面下功夫。

从普通合伙制转向特殊的普通合伙制,是多家上榜律所已明确的发展路径,例如嘉维、融力天闻、北京策略律师事务所、卓纬律师事务所等。特殊的普通合伙制较之普通合伙制,最大区别在于合伙人债务责任的承担问题,提高了律所抵抗风险的能力。

嘉维的曹律师表示,2021年嘉维改制成为特殊的普通合伙律所,这是律所发展历程中的重要里程碑,为律所高速发展奠定了体制保障。“特殊普通合伙制从责任分担方面解决了合伙人的后顾之忧,为全体合伙人共创事业平台提供了基本条件。”在此基础上,嘉维在第一个“五年规划”中明确,从专业精品所逐步转变为综合性的规模化大所。

浩天虽仍为普通合伙制律所,但蒋律师也表示,合伙制律所的底色和基本逻辑是各自为战、各自为政,这导致了律所先天缺乏组织力。“律师不断增长的业务能力和创造力,与浩天的组织力不足之间的矛盾,是我们亟需解决的问题。”

蒋律师说,在律所的组织形式方面,希望中国引入有限责任合伙的方式,这将促使律所管理的提升。“无限连带责任的风险问题如同达摩克里斯之剑,悬在65万中国律师的头上。有限责任合伙的方式通过份额制推动着共同管理,可以促进管理效率的提升、组织力的增强。”

在管理层面,嘉维、浩天均设立了 “议、决、行、监”的体制。嘉维的曹律师介绍道,在“议”的环节,主要是要体现最广泛、最充分的民主。嘉维建立了执行委员会、组织战略与发展委员会、机构发展与协调委员会、合伙人事务与发展委员会,重点专题研究律所经营管理的重大问题。所内重要事项决策前的酝酿、沟通、讨论和研究要征求全体员工的意见,组织全体员工参与讨论;“决”则是健全民主讨论、投票表决的民主决策机制。嘉维实行合伙人会议三级决策,即全体合伙人会议、权益高级合伙人会议、合伙人管理委员会;

此外,“行”是加大执行力。在嘉维,合伙人管理委员会协商推举产生管理合伙人,管理合伙人负责组织、协调决策研究,协调合伙人之间的关系,履行执行职能,向各级合伙人会议报告工作。 “监”则是指由各级合伙人会议和专门的监督机构对决策、执行情况予以监督。

浩天的管理模式与之相似,机构设置上略有差别,设立了全国合伙人代表大会、全国董事局、北京管委会、全国监事会四个组织机构,分别承担议、决、行、监的职责。蒋律师表示,目前这一管理系统运转良好,但在“决”和“行”的一体化方面,仍有进一步提高管理效率的空间。

不同的律所有不同的发展策略,难以一言以蔽之,但规模化发展要实现“量变”到“质变”,内生制度和管理的变革,或许是每家律所的必经之路。融力天闻的潘律师认为,律所的管理能力既有管理层的认识、经验、态度等软能力,也有律所信息化、办公环境等硬实力,也有职业经理人团队责任心、敬业态度和工作经验等,这些都将成为融力天闻的发力点。

融合与协同

“成长必然有烦恼,不同阶段的成长有不同阶段的烦恼。”潘律师一语道出了各类型律所相同的感受,鉴于快速发展中必然会经历的合并、纳新、开疆拓土等过程,潘律师认为最大的挑战是融合。

“律所多是合伙制,合伙是基于人合,管理和服务不同于体制内单位,也区别于公司企业,律所是个比较特殊的市场主体。我认为律所合并融合是存在窗口期的,一般为三年时间,若是三年还没有顺利融合,通常会超越了合伙人的心理预期,容易出现融合疲劳、情绪波动。”潘律师分析道。

为了克服困难,融力天闻由上海融力律师事务所和上海天闻世代律师事务所于2019年1月合并重组而成后,始终坚持忠诚、平等、民主、包容的合伙理念,全体合伙人秉承舍小取大、舍眼前取长远、舍局部取全局的“取舍”价值观,“坚持把业务做精、做强,把蛋糕做大、做好,共搭平台、共同收益,实现了在融合中发展到在发展中融合的过渡,目前融力天闻已经顺利融合成一个整体。”潘律师说。

此外,总所与分所的齐头并进也是律所规模化过程的挑战之一。“浩天北京总所的快速发展与各地分所的发展是不均衡的,总所的营收占了全国总营收的一半,各个分所的营收和人数相对较少且不平衡,这很容易带来总所、分所在发展和管理上的矛盾。”蒋律师说,浩天为解决此问题,在2022年出台了“共同发展实施意见”,希望大家按一个步调前进,“做一支保持队形的‘舰队’。”

嘉维则在建设分所之前,重点考虑业务互补性、市场需求、文化相容性。“在业务互补性方面,合并的律所拥有不同的专业领域或客户资源,以实现更全面、综合的服务能力;在市场需求方面,合并律所达成共同认知和相似的战略思路,从而更好地共同开拓市场份额;在文化相容性方面,合并律所树立一致的价值观、团队文化和管理风格,确保合并后能够形成协同效应和良好的工作氛围。”曹律师说。

“另外,在一些律所,分所合伙人是不能成为总部合伙人的,因此没有决策权和表决权。而嘉维要求分所合伙人必须注册成为总所备案合伙人,并且在成为了权益高级合伙人后,不仅可以参与决策,还可以参与公共收支盈余的利益分配。”曹律师补充道。

而参与共同发起筹备工作的嘉维分所合伙人律师,可自由选择在北京总部或分所所在地执业。“此外,嘉维总所、分所实现了品牌一体化、培训一体化、案件渠道一体化,共享品牌荣誉、培训资源,总所还会向各地分所分发一定的案源,各地分所也可根据业务需求选择与总所合作。”曹律师说。

坚守与精进

各家受访律所在对此次上榜表示欣喜的同时,都表示这只是成长路上的一个脚印,对于未来,它们都定下了诸多目标。

融力天闻主张对内、对外目标共进。潘律师介绍,对内方面,一要强化文化建设。“文化建设看上去有些虚,实际上是律所发展之魂,在律所关键节点上起重要作用的往往是律所文化。律所文化是合伙人和全体律师长期积淀形成的价值观,她潜移默化影响着每个律师的行为。所以,今后需要继续积淀融力天闻文化内核,增强律所凝聚力。”

另一方面则是提升专业。“专业是律所发展之根,是律师立身之本。融力天闻推行‘一主两辅’建设,助力律师专业化,积极建设内部二级业务市场,让律师获益,形成良性循环。”

“对外方面,一是适度规模化,继续加强专业团队的引进,未来3年,上海总部实现500名执业律师;在北京、上海、广州等一线城市布局外,重点将在长三角省会城市,以及江苏、浙江等重要地级市开设分所,数量达到20家,海外办公室五家,打造服务海内外的全国知名律所。二是打造品牌化,包括律所整体品牌化,也包括专业团队品牌化和律师个人品牌化,三者相辅相成、相互成就。”潘律师说。

曹律师则表示,嘉维将始终保持清醒,铭记初心。“下一步,嘉维所将按照一五规划的既定目标,全力实现建立全国规模化律所的战略目标:用三年时间,进一步创新工作思路与管理措施,完善全国法律服务网络建设,使嘉维所成为一家全国知名,律师规模、精英人数跃身全国前列的律所;用五年时间,建立覆盖全球的服务网络,成为全球化律师事务所。”

浩天的蒋律师则表示:“在全球经济衰退之中,中国律师界是个优胜劣汰的丛林社会。浩天要保持发展的定力,着力于控制风险,尤其是刑事法律风险、行政法律风险和民事风险;另外,在重点定向引进高手律师的同时,要进一步提升组织力。”

 “浩天致力于在2023年底进入营收‘2亿美元俱乐部’,力争三年达到20亿人民币,五年(浩天30周年)达到30亿人民币的收费目标。执业人数、总收费、人均收费这三项指标都要进入中国前十,成为领先的律所。”蒋律师道出了浩天的具体目标。

为了实现目标,浩天将从研发驱动和组织驱动两方面入手。一方面,为成为研发型律所,浩天于今年成立了研究院,将会陆续释放行业领先的法律服务产品,发布理论和实践结合的业务文章,以更多学术型活动来引领合伙人发展,打造技术型律师的形象。另一方面,浩天将加大信息化转型升级的投入,以此提升组织力。

“未来,希望中国律师行业不要变成以丑为美的罗刹海市,避免进入恶性竞争的内卷之中,而是苦练内功,共同成长,形成良好的竞争环境,最终进入全球律师圈的‘封神榜’。”蒋律师说。


 

 

2023 ALB China Fastest Growing Firms

In the face of intense competition, both domestically and internationally, and complications within the partnership structure, Chinese companies face significant obstacles when it comes to achieving rapid growth. ALB highlights the top 15 companies that have overcome these challenges and achieved growth through improved service quality and efficiency, as well as by exploring new opportunities.

 

In June 2023, the Chinese Ministry of Justice released the ‘Statistical Analysis of Lawyers and Grassroots Legal Services in 2022,’ which showed that at the end of last year, there were more than 651,600 practicing lawyers in China, 76,800 more than the previous year, an increase of over 13 percent. China is home to more than 38,600 law firms, including more than 2,100 new entrants. Specifically, a total of 500 firms now have at least 100 lawyers, an increase of over 20 percent.

Although the legal services industry was not spared the substantial impact last year, given growing uncertainties of the domestic and international environment and slowing economic growth, the data above show that China’s legal services industry has managed to maintain its rapid growth seen in recent years, and that the market is still large enough to be explored and developed by Chinese firms.

In this ranking, we are highlighting those firms that have managed to overcome difficulties, stand out from competition and become industry leaders. The "15 Fastest Growing Firms" list in China is based on indicators such as increases in the number of fee-earners, new key partners, new offices, new key clients, new practice areas and revenue. Those 15 firms have not only delivered outstanding report cards in the said key indicators, but they also each rank among the best in the country thanks to their respective undisputed competitive advantages and comprehensive strength in several fields.

This year’s 15 winners include established firms headquartered in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, large firms in non-first-tier cities that are deeply involved in regional markets, as well as medium-sized firms that have just switched from the traditional boutique firm model to being full-service providers, with seven new entries. Each firm has different development strategies and plans given different size and market positioning. ALB has invited several winning firms to share their continuous growth journey and the challenges they face.

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

The period under review for the 2023 ALB China Top 15 Fastest Growing Firms is from April 2022 to April 2023. Affected by the pandemic, activities in Shanghai were paused for two months from spring to summer last year, while other cities were also affected by the pandemic to varying degrees. This impact can be said to have continued until the beginning of this year.

Against this backdrop, one commonality among the 15 winning firms this time is that they have all successfully withstood the shock of the external environment, and that their annual revenue has bucked the trend of declining to register growth.

Based on the epicentre of this storm, Ronly & Tenwen Partners saw a decline in business volume during the lockdown. However, once the lockdown was lifted, all lawyers made extra efforts to catch up, and business volume rebounded rapidly. Such a rebound is inseparable from the firm's rapid growth in recent times. "In recent years, we have maintained steady annual growth of 20 percent in our team," says Pan Dingchun, director of Ronly & Tenwen. With the increase in the number of offices and colleagues, the reputation of the firm has been continuously consolidated, and revenue has also increased significantly. "Expansion at this speed proves to be working for us and has achieved good results."

According to Pan, Ronly & Tenwen added six offices in Shanghai Lingang, Beijing, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Changzhou and South Korea over the past 12 months, Before this, the firm only had offices in Hangzhou, Haikou and Taicang apart from its Shanghai headquarters.

Beijing JAVY Law Firm is another firm that achieved growth in the number of lawyers, the number of offices and business turnover in the past 12 months. "The past three years saw our rapid development amid the outbreak and resurgence of the pandemic. JAVY created new opportunities despite the crisis, forged new grounds amid fluid situations, and achieved excellent results on multiple fronts," says Cao Chunfang, deputy director and founding partner of JAVY.

JAVY registered a year-on-year increase of 60 percent in its number of lawyers and staff to reach nearly 400, and added offices in Shanghai, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Nanning and Zaozhuang, with preparations ongoing for establishing presence in Tianjin, Taiyuan, Wuhan, Shenzhen and Hangzhou. In March this year, the firm rented a new building for its Beijing headquarters, doubling its office space to nearly 6,000 square meters in two detached buildings. "This has improved not only our work environment, but also our overall service capability and comprehensive strength."

On the other hand, Jiang Qi, chairman of the National Board of Directors of Beijing Hylands Law Firm, shares that apart from the pandemic, complex international political and economic dynamics since last year, such as the global economic recession, the power play between China and the United States, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, have collectively resulted in a period of relative stagnation for the Chinese legal services industry. As a result, China’s legal profession, already highly competitive, has experienced involution, or excessive internal competition, that is not conducive to development.

Already a full-service outfit, Hylands managed to maintain its growth momentum over the past 12 months, with fee-earners up by 530 to reach 2010, new offices established in Fuzhou, Nanchang, Xi'an, Suzhou, Zhengzhou, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, as well as Miyun District and Changping District of Beijing, and a significant increase in revenue.

Based on performance of the firm’s headquarters and more than 30 offices in the first half of this year, Jiang expects the growth of revenue to be maintained. These achievements are inseparable from the efforts made by the firm in recent years to build up middle office services and branding. "Hylands has presented itself with a brand new look in the world of Chinese law firms."

SYSTEM AND MANAGEMENT

The gains brought about by strength in numbers point to the driving role of scale in the development of Chinese firms. Faced with fierce competition, many firms are emphasizing the importance of staying prudent and pursuing moderate and high-quality upscaling. To this end, the 15 winning firms have all worked hard in terms of systems and management.

Switching from general partnership (GP) to special general partnership (SGP) is a clear path chosen by many of the winners, such as JAVY, Ronly & Tenwen, Beijing Celue Law Firm and Chance Bridge Law Firm. The biggest difference between GP and SGP lies in the debt liability of law firm partners, which improves a firm's ability to withstand risks.

Cao of JAVY says that the restructuring of the firm to a SGP in 2021 is a key milestone in the firm’s development and provides the institutional guarantee for its rapid growth. "SGP solves the worries of partners in terms of liability sharing, creating the basic conditions for all partners to build a business platform together." On this basis, JAVY has made it clear in its first "Five-year Plan" that it will transition from a specialized boutique firm to a large-scale, one-stop firm.

Although Hylands still adopts the GP model, Jiang concedes that the underpinning philosophy and basic logic of a partnership firm is that lawyers will work and do things for their own benefit, resulting in an inherent lack of organizational capabilities of the firm. "The tension between our lawyers' growing professional competence and creativity and our firm’s lack of organizational capabilities is something we need to address urgently."

When it comes to the organizational structure of law firms, Jiang hopes that China could introduce limited liability partnership or LLP which would contribute to the upgrading of law firm management. "The risk of unlimited joint liability is like the sword of Damocles, hanging over the heads of 650,000 Chinese lawyers. The LLP model, on the other hand, advances joint management through the proportionate system, which can improve management efficiency and strengthen organizational capabilities."

At the management level, both JAVY and Hylands have established a system comprising "discussion, decision-making, execution and supervision". JAVY’s Cao shares that "discussion" aims to reflect democracy in its broadest and most sufficient sense. The firm has set up an executive committee, an organizational strategy and development committee, an institutional development and coordination committee, and a partnership affairs committee, to study major issues that emerge out of the firm’s operations and management. Before decisions on major matters that affect the firm are made, all employees are organized to participate in internal consideration, communication, discussion and research. "Decision-making" is to improve the democratic decision-making mechanism featuring democratic discussion and voting. JAVY practices three-tier decision-making partner meetings, namely meeting of all partners, meeting of senior equity partners, and meeting of the partner management committee.

Further, "execution" is to step up implementation efforts. At JAVY, the partner management committee elects the managing partner upon discussion who is responsible for organizing and coordinating decision-making studies, managing the relationship among partners, performing executive functions, and reporting to partner meetings at all levels. Finally, "supervision" refers to the oversight of decision-making and implementation by partner meetings at all levels and special supervisory bodies.

Hylands adopts a similar management model, although there are slight differences in organizational set-up. The firm has established four organizational bodies, namely the National Congress of Partner Representatives, the National Board of Directors, the Beijing Management Committee and the National Board of Supervisors, which respectively shoulder the responsibilities of discussion, decision-making, execution and supervision. Jiang believes that the current management model is working well, though there is room for further improving management efficiency in terms of integrating "decision-making" and "execution".

The development strategies of different firms vary, and it is not possible to summarize all strategies in a few sentences. However, so that upscaling no longer only focuses on size but also on quality, every firm is expected to go through the transformation of internal systems and management. Pan of Ronly & Tenwen believes that the management capabilities of a firm include not only soft capabilities such as the vision, experience and attitude of the management team, but also hard capabilities such as information technology level and office environment, as well as the sense of responsibility, dedication and work experiences of the professional managerial team. All of these areas are what Ronly & Tenwen will be focusing its efforts on.

INTEGRATION AND SYNERGY

"Growing pains are unavoidable. They are also different at different stages of growth." Pan of Ronly & Tenwen hits the nail on its head. As developments such as merger, new recruits and expansion are inevitable during rapid growth, Pan views integration as the biggest challenge.

"Most law firms are partnerships, and partnerships are based on the harmony between individuals. The management and services of a partnership are thus different from public agencies as well as private businesses. Law firms are therefore a rather special type of market entity. I think there is a window period for the post-merger integration of law firms, which is generally three years. If smooth integration cannot be achieved in three years, the patience of partners usually would have become thin, and they are likely to feel integration fatigue and show emotional swings."

To overcome such difficulties, Ronly & Tenwen, which was born out of the merger and reorganization of Shanghai Ronly Law Firm and Shanghai Tenwen Shidai Law Firm in January 2019, has always adhered to the partnership concept of loyalty, equality, democracy and inclusiveness. All partners follow the philosophy of "choosing big over small, choosing long-term over short-term and choosing collective benefit over individual interest”, and "persist in refining and strengthening our practice, making the cake bigger and better, and working together to build a platform for common benefit.” According to Pan, “the firm has navigated the transition from development amid integration to integration while developing, and has now been smoothly integrated as one."

In addition, how to ensure that the headquarters and local offices of a firm are progressing together is another challenge during the scale-up process of law firms. "The rapid growth of Hylands’ Beijing headquarters is not balanced with that of our offices in different places. Revenue from the headquarters accounts for half of total national revenue, while the revenue and the number of headcount in each office are small and uneven. This easily leads to conflicts in the development and management of the headquarters and local offices." Jiang shares that to address this issue, Hylands issued the Implementing Opinions on Common Development in 2022, in an effort to align everyone on the same page and "build a 'fleet' that maintains formation."

On the other hand, JAVY focuses on business complementarity, market demand and cultural compatibility before deciding to open a new branch. "In terms of business complementarity, the firm to be merged have expertise in different practice areas or different client resources to achieve more comprehensive service coverage; in terms of market demand, the firm to be merged share a common understanding and similar strategic thinking so as to better jointly grow market share; and in terms of cultural compatibility, the firm to be merged have values, teamwork culture and management style that are consistent with JAVY to ensure synergies and a good working atmosphere after the merger,” says Cao.

"In addition, in some firms, partners of a branch office will not be able to become partners of the headquarters. As a result, they have neither decision-making power nor voting rights. JAVY, on the other hand, requires branch office partners to be registered as headquarters partners. After being promoted to senior equity partners, they can not only participate in decision-making, but also share the distribution of the surplus of common revenue and expenditure.”

Furthermore, partners of a JAVY office who have participated in its establishment preparation are free to choose to practice with the headquarters or the branch office. "In addition, we have achieved integration between the headquarters and local offices in terms of branding, training and business leads. The headquarters and local offices share brand reputation and training resources. The former will pass down some business leads to the latter, while the latter can also choose to work with the former according to business needs."

PERSEVERANCE AND PROGRESS

While all the firms interviewed are delighted to make it onto this year’s list, they all say that this is just one small step on the road to growth, and they have set many goals for themselves for the future.

Ronly & Tenwen Partners believes that internal and external goals should be progressed together. According to Pan, internally, for one, the firm must first strengthen cultural building. "Cultural building sounds vague, but it is actually the soul of the development of a firm. It is often the culture of a firm that plays an important role in key moments of the firm. The culture of a firm represents the values formed by partners and all lawyers over a long period of time, and subtly influences the behavior of each lawyer. Therefore, going forward, we need to continue to build up the cultural core of Ronly & Tenwen and enhance the cohesion of the firm."

Second, the firm needs to improve professionalism. "Professionalism lays the foundation for the development of both a firm and a lawyer. Ronly & Tenwen helps lawyers specialize in one core practice area and two supporting practice areas, and actively builds an internal secondary market to benefit lawyers and create a virtuous circle."

"Externally, we will first pursue moderate expansion and continue to attract professional teams to reach 500 practicing lawyers in our Shanghai headquarters in the next three years. Apart from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other first-tier cities, we will focus on establishing presence in capital cities in the Yangtze River Delta region, and important prefecture-level cities in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and other provinces, so as to reach 20 domestic offices and five overseas offices, thus creating a nationally renowned brand that is capable of serving clients both at home and abroad. Second, we will work on brand building, including branding of the firm as a whole, branding of practice teams and branding of individual lawyers. They should complement and support each other,” says Pan of Ronly & Tenwen.

Cao says that JAVY will always remain clearheaded and keep its original vision in mind. "In the next step, we will spare no effort to achieve the strategic goal of becoming a large national firm in accordance with the goals set in our first Five-year Plan. Specifically, we will spend three years to further innovate work ideas and management measures, and improve the construction of the national legal services network, to make JAVY a well-known national firm where the number of lawyers and the number of elite lawyers both rank among the highest across the country. Further, in five years, we will establish a service network with global coverage and become a global firm.”

According to Jiang of Hylands: "In the face of the global economic recession, China's legal services industry will become a jungle society where only the fittest survive. Hylands must remain firm in our development direction, and focus on risk control, especially criminal, administrative and civil legal risks. In addition, while attracting top talents, we must further enhance organizational capabilities."

"Hylands aims to join the $200 million revenue club by the end of 2023, achieve the fee target of 2 billion yuan in three years, and reach 3 billion yuan in five years before Hylands’ 30th anniversary. We should be among the top ten in China for the three indicators of number of practitioners, total revenue and revenue per lawyer, and become a leading firm," shares Jiang when it comes to specific targets.

To achieve these goals, Hylands will rely on the dual drivers of R&D and organization. On the one hand, to become a R&D-oriented firm, Hylands has set up a research institute this year, and will gradually unveil industry-leading legal service products, publish business articles combining theory and practice, nurture the growth of partners with more academic activities, so as to create the image of lawyers with deep professional expertise. On the other hand, Hylands will increase investment in information technology transformation and upgrading to enhance organizational capabilities.

"Looking ahead, I hope China's legal services industry can avoid vicious competition. Instead, all industry players should build up capacity, grow together, create an environment for healthy competition, and finally enter the ‘hall of fame’ of the global legal industry," says Jiang.

 

 

2023 ALB China Fastest Growing Firms
2023 ALB China 十五佳成长律所

Beijing Celue Law Firm 北京策略律师事务所

Beijing Docvit Law Firm 北京市道可特律师事务所

Beijing Hylands Law Firm 北京浩天律师事务所

Beijing JAVY Law Firm 北京嘉维律师事务所

Chance Bridge Law Firm 卓纬律师事务所

China Commercial Law Firm 华商律师事务所

Glinks Law Firm 上海格联律师事务所

Hai Run Law Firm 海润天睿律师事务所

Hunan Tiandiren Law Firm 湖南天地人律师事务所

Leaqual Law Firm 两高律师事务所

Merits & Tree Law Offices 植德律师事务所

Ronly & Tenwen Partners 上海融力天闻律师事务所

SGLA Law Firm 中联律师事务所

Wincon Law Firm 文康律师事务所

Zhi Heng Law Firm 广东知恒律师事务所

 

METHODOLOGY
评选方法

Law firms were selected on the basis of fee-earners growth, new offices launched, additions of key partners and important clients, revenue growth and other kinds of expansion.

The ranking was open to law firms with physical offices in mainland China.

调研根据收费人员增长、新添加的办公室、新增核心合伙人和重要客户以及营业额增长量等其他相关扩张指标进行,进而评选出了名列前茅的律师事务所。

中资所和外资所均可参与评选,但参评的律师事务所需要在中国大陆设有办公室。

 

 

TO CONTACT EDITORIAL TEAM, PLEASE EMAIL ALBEDITOR@THOMSONREUTERS.COM

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