The IFLR1000 Awards are based on the research conducted by IFLR1000’s researchers during the annual research cycle and use as their primary source the IFLR1000 submissions. The awards research is also supported by a dedicated awards team, combining IFLR1000’s existing methodology, honed over 30 years of covering legal markets, with a resource to analyse unique transactions in detail.

All decisions relating to the shortlists and winners are independent and made by an IFLR1000 panel consisting of the regional editors and researchers. Each shortlist is the culmination of months of research, analysing hundreds of submissions, surveying thousands of referees and interviewing hundreds of lawyers.

The awards recognise and celebrate the best-performing law firms and lawyers as well we the most impressive deals of the year within a single market. They endeavour to reflect the depth of domestic legal markets, with categories recognising work at state or region level. 


Research methodology

The IFLR1000 awards will follow IFLR1000’s methodology by using the IFLR1000 submissions, research calls with key practitioners in the market, peer review and client feedback to identify the best-performing law firms and lawyers within a jurisdiction and recognise where firms and lawyers performed exceptionally locally and nationally. The awards will also showcase the market’s most impressive deals that closed during a defined 12-month period.

The IFLR1000 awards are domestic, meaning that the focus is on work in a single jurisdiction, done under the domestic laws, led by domestic lawyers and with a significant domestic impact.

The deal of the year categories will only include deals that closed during the defined research period – ongoing deals will not be shortlisted for deal of the year. In deciding on shortlists and winners, researchers will follow up on specific deals, as well as conducting broader research. Deals will be awarded based on a combination of their complexity and impact on the national market.

Team, firm and individual shortlists will be drawn up based on a combination of their roles on the best deals and market feedback from the research.

Pease note: the categories in each awards do vary. A full list of the categories for each awards can be found below.

In 2021, IFLR1000 will run awards for the following jurisdictions:

India
  • Shortlist announced in July
 
China
  • Shortlist announced in August 
 
Canada and the United States
  • Shortlist announced in August 

 

How to participate

Any firm that submits to the IFLR1000 research and has offices in one of the jurisdictions covered by the awards automatically participates in the awards' research.

Please read the IFLR10000 RESEARCH GUIDELINES for a comprehensive explanation of the process. Follow the steps in the 'How to submit your information' section to be considered for both the rankings and awards.

If you are interested in participating in this year's research, please register through the link below if you have not already done so.

 

 

 

Award categories criteria

 

Deal of the Year

Deals will be evaluated based on their legal complexity, deal dynamics and market impact. These include:

  • Complexity: challenging legal aspects (complex regulatory hurdles, legal uncertainty, new and untested frameworks, multiple national/state laws etc) and legal innovation (precedent setting, first-of-its-kind etc)
  • Dynamics: value, competitive deals, time constraints, multiple parties, debut deal and other challenges
  • Impact: commercial significance and impact on market 

 

Each national awards will have its own deal of the year categories suitable to the market. All deals must meet the following requirements and must have closed during the stipulated periods:

Banking and finance: corporate lending, including all types of credit facilities, refinancings, acquisition financings and asset financings. The borrower must be based in the jurisdiction.

Capital markets - debt: corporate/sovereign debt and equity-linked capital markets issuances such as bonds, hybrid, convertibles, and high yield/non-investment grade offerings, as well as liability management exercises, tender offers and exchanges. It also covers structured finance and securitisation work, including asset-backed securities such as covered bonds. The issuer must be based in the jurisdiction.

Capital markets - equity: equity securities, typically taking the form of IPOs, private placements, PIPEs or rights issues. The offering/listing must take place on an exchange located in the jurisdiction.

M&A: includes all private or public M&A transactions, including joint-ventures. The target must be headquartered in the jurisdiction.

Project finance: includes the financing of infrastructure, industrial, energy and natural resource and public service projects (including PPPs). The project must be in the jurisdiction. The category can include hybrid financings, but the primary purpose of the financing must be a specific project. Financings of new hydrocarbon projects will not be included.

Restructuring and insolvency: includes the restructuring or wind-down of a corporate entity. The restructured entity must be headquartered in the jurisdiction OR the jurisdiction must be the principle legal venue of the restructuring.

 

Firm, team and lawyer of the year

The shortlist and winners of the firm, team and individual awards categories will be drawn up based on a combination of their roles on the best deals, evidence from the IFLR1000 submissions and market feedback from clients and peers.

 

Regional / State Firm of the Year

Eligible firms will be located in the relevant state/region and be evaluated for their work in that state/region and its impact and IFLR1000 submissions and research relating to a firm’s presence in the state/region.

 

Rising Star Lawyer of the Year

Candidates must have under 15 years post-qualification experience to be considered and must not have made partner prior to the research. Ideal candidates will have stood out throughout the research and may have had key roles on some of the most notable deals closed during the research period. For example, if a senior associate is taking lead roles on complex work, managing teams of lawyers and generally operating at a partner-level.

 

Rising Star Firm of the Year

Eligible firms will have been established for less than five years prior to the launch of the research and will be evaluated based on the IFLR1000 submissions and research, and deal record over the defined 12 months period of the awards.

 

Challenger Firm of the Year

Eligible firms must not have a Tier 1 ranking in IFLR1000 in the awards jurisdiction across any category. Candidate firms will have demonstrated notable growth, with significant mandates and deal records over the research period. Strong candidates will be challenging the incumbent top tier firms in the market across one or more practice areas.

 

Hall of Fame Award 

The Hall of Fame award will recognise a practitioner for an outstanding legal career and achievements in transactional law.

 

 

Award categories by jurisdiction 

 

IFLR1000 China Awards

Awards will be given across the following categories. For deal of the year, deals must have closed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020

 

China Hall of Fame

 

Deal of the Year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets
  • M&A
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

In-house Team of the Year

 

Lawyer of the Year (national)

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets
  • M&A
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

Regional Deal of the Year

  • Beijing
  • Chongqing
  • Guangdong
  • Shandong
  • Shanghai
  • Sichuan
  • Tianjin
  • Zhejiang

 

Regional Firm of the Year

  • Beijing
  • Chongqing
  • Guangdong
  • Shanghai
  • Shandong
  • Sichuan
  • Tianjin
  • Zhejiang

 

Rising Star Lawyer of the Year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets
  • M&A
  • Restructuring and insolvency 

 

Team of the Year 

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets
  • M&A
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

 

IFLR1000 Canada awards

Awards will be given across the following categories. For deal of the year, deals must have closed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020

 

Deal of the Year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets: Debt
  • Capital markets: Equity

  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

Lawyer of the Year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets: Debt
  • Capital markets: Equity
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

Regional Firm of the Year

  • Alberta
  • Atlantics
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

 

Team of the Year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets: Debt
  • Capital markets: Equity
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Restructuring and insolvency 

 

 

IFLR1000 India Awards

Awards will be given across the following categories. For deal of the year, deals must have closed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020

 

Deal of the Year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets: debt
  • Capital markets: equity
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

Team of the Year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets: debt
  • Capital markets: equity
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

Lawyer of the Year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets: debt
  • Capital markets: equity
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

Law Firm of the Year

 

Challenger Firm of the Year

 

Rising Star Firm of the Year

 

Women in Business Law

 

 

IFLR1000 Unites States Awards

Awards will be given across the following categories. For deal of the year, deals must have closed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

 

State Firm of the Year

  • All 51 states and DC

 

Deal of the Year 

  • Banking
  • Capital markets: Debt
  • Capital markets: Equity
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

Lawyer of the year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets: Debt
  • Capital markets: Equity
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

Team of the Year

  • Banking and finance
  • Capital markets: Debt
  • Capital markets: Equity
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Restructuring and insolvency

 

 

Frequently asked questions

How do you choose the winners?

The IFLR1000 submissions and research form the basis of our decision-making process. The research team may also follow up on specific aspects, especially deals, with interviews with law firms, in-house counsel and clients. Ultimately, the decision is that of IFLR1000. It is not the result of a poll.

We find this to be the best way to retain integrity and consistency across our awards and across regional disparities. Our editors and researchers apply the same analysis and methodology to each. It is not hard to identify the most impressive deals with the greatest market impact. 

How do you decide what is complex, innovative or impactful about a deal?

IFLR1000 will look for new legal structures, deals that overcome new or complex regulatory hurdles, national and local law crossovers and firsts-of-their-kind deals that imported new legal mechanisms. The difficulty and intricacy of the work is assessed, as well as its likely market impact. IFLR1000 will also consider a deal’s value and commercial significance, and look at challenging aspects in the deal dynamics, such as whether it was a competitive deal, there were time constraints or market interruptions, it was a debut, or many counsel were involved. 

How do you decide which firms, teams or lawyers to shortlist?

IFLR1000 will used a combination of the IFLR1000 submissions and research alongside consideration of a firm, team or lawyer’s role on transactions that were competitive in the awards.

IFLR1000 will also look at the role of that firms, teams and lawyers played on a deal – for example, taking a lead counsel role is more important than providing an opinion a deal, advising the main buyer is more important than advising a shareholder, advising the underwriters is better than advising the ratings agencies etc.

Can I talk to/meet a researcher?

Yes. Please contact the editor Ben Naylor (bnaylor@iflr1000.com).He will coordinate an interview with a researcher. 

When is the submission deadline?

The awards are based on the IFLR1000 submissions, which have a deadline of February 26 2021

Must deals have reached final close in 2020 to be included in the deal awards?

Yes. All deals must have closed between the end of January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 to be considered in the deal awards. 

How do you divide advertising and editorial?

There is no connection between advertising and success in IFLR1000’s awards or rankings. IFLR1000’s awards are built on editorial objectivity.