Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

The Legal 500 > Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. After research takes place, how are law firm rankings determined?

Rankings are determined after an in-depth annual research process. Ranking criteria are as follows:

Primary factors:

  • Recent work (past 12 months)
  • Historical track record (typically the past 3-5 years)

Secondary factors:

  • Breadth of practice area coverage
  • Breadth of industry sector coverage
  • Depth and experience of team / changes to team
  • Client and other referee feedback
  • Ancillary services
  • Significant market/economic developments
  • Your law firm benchmarked against the competition

These factors may vary in importance, depending on the practice area and/or country in question; track record of work is the most important factor.

2. Where can we find the submission guidelines for each Legal 500 guide?

Please click HERE to view the submission guidelines for each guide.

3. We have an active practice in an area that is not currently a Legal 500 category. Should we provide a submission for it anyway?

No. The list of sections has been finalised for the 2015 edition, and no additional sections will be added without notifying all firms potentially affected. Firms are advised to look at the published list of categories, and include the information as part of a submission for the category which closest fits the practice concerned.

4. We think you should introduce a new editorial category/country. Do you accept suggestions, and if so who should we contact?

We aim to structure the editorial in a way that reflects the market, and do keep the editorial categories under review. If you have suggestions for editions you should contact

Please provide the following:

a) compile a mini submission for the law firm to show some of its clients, the range of its work, and a handful of examples from each of the past two years

b) identify other key law firm competitors in the jurisdiction (while this means we might end up ranking them, it gives us a pointer as to who else we can approach about their interest in adding a chapter)

c) contact other law firms in the jurisdiction that you know to be interested in a Legal 500 and encourage those law firms to contact us as well giving their take on why.

5. Our firm is not currently recommended in the editorial of Legal 500, but we believe we warrant a recommendation. What should we do next?

The editorial research is based on firms’ written editorial submissions, and follow-up research with firms and their referees. The first step is therefore to provide us with a written editorial submission. If the submission deadline has passed, see question below relating to late submissions.

Please refer to the editorial submission guidelines for details of the information we ask for. You should provide a separate submission for each practice area for which you believe your firm warrants a recommendation.

6. We are currently recommended in the Legal 500. Do we need to continue to provide editorial submissions in order to retain our ranking?

Yes. We do take into account a firm’s track record in a particular area, but the editorial research is conducted afresh each year.

7. If we send firm and partner sales profiles, do we also need to send an editorial submission?

Yes. Editorial researchers do not see the sales profiles provided by firms. The editorial research is independent of the sales process and different information is needed.

8. We confirm that there are no costs attached to taking part in our research process, or to any resulting rankings.

No. The list of sections has been finalised for the 2015 edition, and no additional sections will be added without notifying all firms potentially affected. Firms are advised to look at the published list of categories, and include the information as part of a submission for the category which closest fits the practice concerned.

9. How do I submit my firm’s editorial submissions and referees spreadsheets?

All firms have to upload the submissions and referees to the portal. Please do not send documents directly to researchers or editors.

10. Is there a template for submission documents?

Please note that we do not have a pro forma template for submissions. In light of this, please follow the relevant submission guidelines and ensure that your submissions include all of the requested information. The way in which you lay out the information is up to you.

11. Can we include our referees within our editorial submission documents?

No. Any referees that are submitted to us within a submission document, rather than within a referee spreadsheet template, will not be contacted by us. Referee spreadsheet template can be found on the same page as the submissions guidelines for each of the Legal 500 guides.

12. Can we submit editorial submissions for multiple practice areas/countries in one Word document?

No, please ensure that all countries and all practice areas are submitted to the portal within separate Word or PDF documents.

13. We are not going to be able to meet the editorial submission deadline. Do you accept late submissions?

The Legal 500 series receives thousands of submissions every year, and researchers are under tight deadlines to research practice areas. It is in firms’ own interests for their submissions (including feedback on the current rankings) to have been fully reviewed by the researchers as part of their preparation for their follow-up research. Our overriding aim is to produce editorial which is as accurate as possible, but firms should be aware that submissions delivered late may not be given as full consideration as submissions received on time.

14. We have submitted our editorial submissions but we have included incorrect information/need to update information. What should we do?

Please email if you need to update your submission. We are able to revert the submission back to draft so firms can edit and resubmit

15. When do you publish the details of the researchers for the next edition?

We publish details of which researcher is covering which area, along with contact details, shortly after the relevant submission deadline has passed. They will be posted on the Legal 500 website HERE.

16. Do the researchers interview all firms who provide a submission for a particular practice area? Do we need to do anything to ensure a follow-up interview?

We do our best to present a fair and accurate picture of the market, but we do not undertake to speak to all firms across all practice areas for which they have provided a submission. In some cases the researcher will have sufficient information from the written submission and references. If not, the researcher will make contact with the firm to arrange a follow-up interview. If you feel strongly that you want a follow-up interview, then you should (once the submission deadline has passed) email the relevant researcher to request one.

17. Does the Legal 500 provide rankings before the date of publication?

The Legal 500 will only reveal rankings upon the specified date of publication for each guide.

18. Does the Legal 500 provide rankings before the date of publication?

Please email your feedback request in full to and your request will then be passed on to the relevant researcher. Please do not contact the Editor or researchers directly.

19. There is a factual error within a Legal 500 guide. We are aware that it is too late for the hard copy publication, but can you amend the error in the online version?

We will amend any factual errors online. If you are aware of a factual error, please contact

20. We would like to view historical rankings for our firm, is this possible?

Please go to to view the process for requesting historical data (we only provide the rankings for our current guides online).

21. When I search for our firm online, we see a blank page headed with our firm name, despite knowing that we have been ranked. Why is this?

Only firms that purchase a profile with us will have a microsite (a page in which all of their rankings and editorials can be accessed together). In light of this, any firms that do not have a profile with us will need to go through our rankings manually online or in the hard copy of the guide to locate your firm’s rankings.


We send out emails to firms to remind them of the deadline dates for referees. If you would like us to contact you with regards to upcoming research periods including information on submission guidelines and deadlines for referees and submissions, please email

1. How do we submit referees?

We ask firms to use our prescribed referee templates, which can be found on our guidelines page for each guide HERE

We do not accept any other format for referees. If they are received within pdf or word documents, or Chambers and Partners spreadsheets, they will not be accepted.

2. How many referees can we submit?

We ask for a minimum of 5 referees per partner, per practice area, but please submit as many referees as you like. We will contact all referees with a working email address (primary contact is via email). Any referees that we receive with only a telephone number will be contacted at the discretion of the relevant researcher.

3. How do we complete the formatted referee spreadsheets?

Some of the information requested in our spreadsheets are compulsory, while other information is optional.

REFEREE TITLE (MR, MRS) (Includes a drop-down box): compulsory



REFEREE JOB TITLE: optional, although it allows us to tailor our distribution


REFEREE COMPANY – INDUSTRY/SECTOR: optional, although when The Legal 500 guides are launched, where possible we would like to inform referees of the editorial and rankings, tailored to their industry





REFEREE EMAIL ADDRESS: compulsory. We will only contact referees where an initial email address for us to contact is provided. Please ensure you insert only one email per referee, per line. Do NOT include multiple emails in one line, as this can result in referees not being contacted


LEGAL 500 PRACTICE AREA (Includes a drop-down box): compulsory. We ask referees about specific practice areas, rather than firms in general. The practice areas are embedded into the spreadsheet and can be selected via the provided drop down boxes (and are also listed on the final pages of the relevant editorial guidelines). Please enter the relevant practice area/s in the spreadsheet exactly as we have written them, by selecting them from the drop-down box.

Please note that practice areas may be updated every year, so please ensure that you use the referee template supplied afresh by us each year.

Please use the practice areas provided in the drop down box. Do not amend practice areas or include more than one practice area in the cell. If you would like referees to be contacted for more than one practice area, please repeat the referee information on separate lines.

Do not capitalise the information in the spreadsheet.

LAW FIRM NAME: compulsory. Please insert the name of your own law firm here

THE LEGAL 500 REGION or COUNTRY (Includes a drop-down box): compulsory. As with the Legal 500 Practice Area column, the regions are embedded into the document, and must be selected from the drop-down box.

REFEREE CATEGORY (Includes a drop-down box): compulsory. Firms are asked to specify (by selecting from the drop-down box) whether their referee is a client, a referrer/introducer of work, or counsel. This will enable us to tailor our reference requests appropriately. This varies from guide to guide. This information is provided in the relevant spreadsheet online.

Please note that we will not accept incomplete spreadsheets. Do make sure that the necessary fields are filled in correctly.

4. Can we send you documents that are password protected?

No, please do not send us password protected spreadsheets.

5. Deadlines and information on late referees

It is imperative that referees are submitted by the specified deadline dates (please refer to our submission guidelines pages for dates). Any referees received after the official deadline dates will be contacted slightly later, and treated differently. A late referee will only be contacted if the individual has not already been submitted in a spreadsheet by any other firm by the official deadline date. This is to ensure referees are not bombarded with multiple emails.

Any referees received after the final cut of date (late referee deadline date) will not be contacted by the Legal 500. All referees are ONLY contacted by the administration team. Please note that our researchers are not permitted to contact referees directly.

For extension requests, please email

6. How do we submit referee spreadsheets?

EMEA - If you are submitting for multiple countries within EMEA, please ensure that you send spreadsheets and submission separately for each country. Please note that Deutschland is researched prior to the EMEA guide but this research is translated and included within the EMEA guide. Please check our guidelines page for more information.

Asia - If you are submitting for multiple countries within Asia Pacific, please ensure that you send spreadsheets and submission separately for each country.

Latin America - If you are submitting for multiple countries within Latin America, please ensure that you send spreadsheets and submission separately for each country.

UK - Please send your firm’s information separately for the following sections:

  • London Solicitors
  • Regional Bar
  • Scottish Bar
  • London Bar
  • Mediators
  • Regional Solicitors

Caribbean - Please submit referees and submissions separately for each Island.

7. I’ve made a mistake, can I submit an amended spreadsheet?

Please make sure you clearly state in the subject of the email that the document sent contains ‘UPDATED’ or ‘REVISED’ information, to prevent us from contacting referees included in both spreadsheets. Please send your updated or revised referee spreadsheets to or contact Stephanie Ezimako in the first instance at

8. Can The Legal 500 copy law firms in to our referee request emails to referees?

No, all feedback is treated as highly confidential and will therefore not be communicated with firms.

9. Will referees put forward for multiple practice areas receive multiple emails?

Referees will only receive one single reference request email if the practice area that they have been asked to provide feedback for is covered by one single researcher. A referee receiving multiple emails (3 or more) because the areas that they are responding for are covered by more than one researcher will be contacted first to see if they are happy to receive the multiple email requests or not. They will then have the opportunity to opt out of receiving multiple emails.

9. Will referees put forward for multiple practice areas receive multiple emails?

All referees are contacted once. We do not send second or follow-up emails to referees.

All law firms will receive an email prior to referees request emails being sent to make them aware of when their referees will be contacted. Firms should take this opportunity to contact their referees and alert them that The Legal 500 will be contacting them.

It is the responsibility of the firm to chase referees once the emails have been sent. Please note that there is a possibility that our emails may get caught in a referees junk or spam filters. All emails are sent from the email address of the relevant researcher (, or you can refer to our researcher contacts list.


Follow The Legal 500 on...