MALLESONS STEPHEN JAQUES has made the shortlist for Derivatives Week’s “Law Firm of the Year” award and it is in some esteemed company.
Mallesons has joined the ranks of firms such as Linklaters, Mayer Brown and Cadwalader Wickersham & Tafton on the shortlist, along with last year’s winner, Allen & Overy.
According to Mallesons partner Martin James, the shortlist is put together after a comprehensive “industry wide due diligence” which involves surveying lawyers, clients such as banks, investment banks, major resources companies and energy companies, as well as trade associations such as the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA).
James believes that one of the key drivers behind Mallesons’ nomination was the firm’s high level of industry involvement, which includes being the legal advisers for ISDA in Australia and for the Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA).
“It’s about looking for law firms which are not only doing the difficult deals globally, but are also very much involved in the industry,” he said. “We have, in the last 12 months, done a lot of work with ISDA in relation to submissions to the Australian government on the personal property securities reform and in relation to the Takeovers Panel examination of securities ending and derivatives trading. We’re also very much involved in the design phase of the emissions trading system and the documentation around that.”
In fact according to James, the emergence of emissions trading, globally and domestically, is one of the most interesting developments the industry has seen for some time. “This is going to be very, very significant for a lot of businesses in Australia and for the derivatives industry broadly,” he said. “In some ways, just as significant as back in the eighties when we were first doing interest rate swaps and thought that was rocket science that could never be bettered. But now we find ourselves with a very exciting development worldwide in relation to emissions trading, and clearly, during the next couple of years, Australia will develop its own system.”
James believes another factor contributing to the nomination is Mallesons’ solid international presence in the derivatives field, the firm now having strong derivatives practices in London, Hong Kong and Australia, as well as a rapidly developing practice in Beijing.
The firm’s focus on the Asian markets was also highlighted by Derivatives Week which noted Mallesons’ impressive “local expertise in Hong Kong and that comes at a price lower that the traditional legal juggernauts in the Special Administrative Region.” The publication also said Mallesons had made “an aggressive push into Greater China over the last year”.
While the firm is obviously hoping for good news when the winner is announced in early October, James said that the team was very pleased to have been included on the shortlist. “These awards are very, very significant to us … so we’re delighted to be nominated,” he said.