Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

THE LEGAL 500 UK BAR

The Legal 500 Bar

Dates for your diary

by Hayley Eustace | 12th August 2016

Many of you have been asking about the 2016 publication date and the upcoming UK awards, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to update you on all the exciting stuff we have coming up from The Legal 500 UK Bar.

  • 14th September: The Legal 500 UK 2016 launch date. The guide launches online on this day (I'm afraid we can't give a time) and the books will be distributed 4-6 weeks afterwards.
  • 14th September: The Legal 500 UK Awards shortlists are announced online - shortlisted sets are emailed.
  • 21st September: The Legal 500 UK Awards winners are announced - winning sets are emailed and invited to our exclusive awards dinner, which will be taking place on 3rd November, bringing together all the Bar, solicitor and in-house winners for this year.
  • Throughout September and October: I will be meeting sets to discuss the 2016 guide, hear your feedback and answer any queries you may have.
  • November: Guidelines and deadlines announced for the 2017 edition - please get in touch between now and then if you have any suggestions of new practice areas we should be covering.
  • Early March: All 2017 submissions and referees are due.

Also, coming soon...

...We will be revealing a brand-new initiative from The Legal 500 UK Bar. We recently hosted a secret roundtable with senior clerks and CEOs to discuss the evolution of such roles within chambers and challenges currently facing the profession. The transcript will be posted on our website next month. This is the first in our series of Bar roundtables and events going forward, so keep your eyes peeled online, and if you would like to be involved in future, please let me know.

 

...And that's a wrap!

by Hayley Eustace | 26th July 2016

The Legal 500 UK 2016 has now been sent to the printers! I look forward to hearing your feedback when it publishes on 14th September. In the meantime, if you're keen to hear more, follow me on Twitter @HE_Legal500 where I will be posting teasers in the run-up to publication. You can also join in by using #L500UK2016.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the research process this year and to all the referees - we've got some fantastic quotes going in the 2016 edition and I have tweeted (and will continue to tweet) my personal favourites.

Also, for the first time ever, The Legal 500 UK guide will be recognising the top ten commercial juniors at the London Bar who are under eight years' call. These are the people we see as being stars of the future and already punching above their weight. I look forward to hearing your feedback on this and the wider coverage of the Bar when the rankings are published.

 

DIVERSITY IN THE LAW

by MIKE NASH | 23rd JUNE 2016

legal500.com has some interesting stats and key interviews on diversity and inclusivity in the law, courtesy of our colleagues in our company's GC Magazine and Client Intelligence teams - a free read that is worth dipping into - see here.

 

Thank you!

by Hayley Eustace | 14th June 2016

As the editing period is fast approaching, this is just a quick note from me to say thank you very much to all barristers, clerks, CEOs and marketing people for your participation in the 2016 edition of The Legal 500. The interview period has now come to a close and the team is hard at work putting together the rankings and editorial for their relevant sections. Can't wait until September for the results? Don't worry, you can get your fix on Twitter, where I will be tweeting some teaser quotes in the run-up to publication: @HE_Legal500

For those chambers with an international practice, the deadline for the English Bar in Asia Pacific submissions was on 20th May, and research starts this week.

 

The English Bar in Asia: Deadline approaching

by Hayley Eustace | 28th April 2016

As part of our ongoing commitment to the Bar, many of you know that The Legal 500 introduced Bar rankings into the Asia Pacific guide last year, recognising the reputation and experience of our country’s leading sets and barristers active across the region.

We are currently accepting submissions for the following sections:

  • Commercial
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Fraud and corporate crime (new for 2016)
  • Shipping

The deadline for submissions and referees for the above areas is 20th May 2016, and more information can be found here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/get-involved.html (under The Legal 500 Asia Pacific drop-down).

Like last year, we are expecting a large number of submissions for this new section and I would therefore urge all barristers to think about the following before submitting:

  • Can you truly say that a large proportion of your practice involves the Asia Pacific region? Barristers do not have to be based full-time in the region, but this certainly helps.
  • Have you built a substantial list of law firm contacts in the region that would be able to comment on your strengths and qualities? We require a minimum of five referees per barrister per practice area, but will also be interviewing law firms and gaining 'unprompted' recommendations from partners based in the region.
  • Can you put together a list of five work highlights, which showcase your recent experience across Asia Pacific?

As always, if you have any questions, I will be happy to help.

 

Bar interviews

by Hayley Eustace | 20th April 2016

Hello everyone,

This is just a quick update from Team Bar to say thank you very much to everyone who has engaged in the interview process so far. If you haven't been in touch with the researchers yet, there's still time and all the contact details can be found here:

/assets/images/research/uk2016/legal500_uk_researchers_bar.pdf

We will be interviewing chambers until mid-May.

Personally, I am researching the employment section once again so let me know if you'd like an interview for that practice area. The majority of my interviews will be conducted before I go Australia and New Zealand as part of my role on the Asia Pacific guide. I will be out of the office between 29th April and 13th May but while I am away I will be on email so do get in touch if you have any questions. When I return to the office, I will be conducting the final few interviews and meetings before compiling the employment rankings and writing the all-important set overviews.

So, if you feel your set is under-represented in our guide, now is your chance to put your case to us! We look forward to hearing from you!

 

The 2016 research period has begun!

by Hayley Eustace | 5th April 2016

Thank you very much for all your submissions and referee spreadsheets for The Legal 500 UK 2016 edition. We really appreciate all the time and effort that goes into compiling the documents, and we look forward to reading everything you have sent us. The deadline was last month and as such we are unable to accept any further referees at this stage. If, however, you would like to send us late or updated submissions, it's best to speak to the researchers directly about this. Their contact details are now available to view here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/get-involved.html (under The Legal 500 UK Bar drop-down).

Interviews will be taking place until 13th May. If you/your members would like to speak to the researchers covering your practice areas then please contact them directly to set up an interview. Interviews are a chance for chambers to put their case for inclusion/promotion across in their own words, and therefore we ask that those put forward for interview are able to speak to the researchers about the set's overall presence in relation to the practice area as well as key recent developments in chambers and the wider market. Ideally, interviewees will also be able to provide feedback on the silk and junior rankings in the last edition. An interview is not conducive to a ranking and interviews are conducted at the researchers' discretion, but the earlier you get in touch, the more chance you will have in getting interviewed.

I will be continuing to meet up with chambers throughout the research period and look forward to catching up with many of you over the next couple of months.

For those sets interested in submitting for the Asia Pacific Bar sections, please note the deadline for submissions and referees is 20th May. More information can be found here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/get-involved.html (under The Legal 500 Asia Pacific drop-down).

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

 

KEEPING YOU INFORMED

by Mike Nash | 16th March 2016

If you are a business development or marketing team member at a law firm or set of chambers, The Legal 500 Newsletter is a useful monthly email that is sent to alert you to upcoming research deadlines, publications or editor visits to markets - it's not a marketing email and recipients are only added upon request; if you don't find the content to be useful, you can be removed at any time. We thoroughly recommend that you do sign up for the newsletter if you don't already receive it. You can request to be added to the mailing list via editorial@legal500.com.

 

The English Bar in Asia: 2017 guidlines online now

by Hayley Eustace | 22nd February 2016

Just when you thought you'd seen enough submissions to last you a lifetime, the guidelines for the English Bar in Asia Pacific are now online here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/get-involved.html (under The Legal 500 Asia Pacific drop-down).

Don't panic though, you've got a bit more time to work on these. The deadline for submissions and referees from sets/barristers with an active Asia practice is 20th May 2016.

We have added a new section this year: Fraud and corporate crime, in order to reflect the work carried out by barristers with regards to anti-corruption, fraud, financial services regulatory and corporate crime matters in the region.

Like last year, sets are also invited to submit for construction, commercial, energy and shipping related disputes work. And the same rules apply; you do not need to be based in the region to be eligible for a ranking, all we ask is that you have substantial experience in Asia Pacific and contacts in the region who can provide feedback on your practice.

Finally, for those who are interested, you may wish to follow my Asia Pacific blog page too: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/asia-pacific/asia-pacific.html

Observations following recent trips, to India and Singapore for example, can be found here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/asia-pacific/blogs/blog1.html#blog32 and here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/asia-pacific/blogs/blog1.html#blog35

And if you haven't already seen them, you should check out our GC Powerlists here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/cc100/2014/cc100.html, including the newly launched Australia and New Zealand list, highlighting the most influential and innovative in-house counsel.

 

UK Bar submission deadline

by Hayley Eustace | 19th February 2016

We are now two weeks away from the UK Bar submission and referee deadline (4th March). If you feel as though you're behind and might not be able to send everything on time, it's important that you prioritise your referees at this stage. If you miss the referee deadline, it is highly likely we will not be able to contact everyone you put forward; there is a two week period after the deadline, where will continue to accept referees, but the individuals will not be contacted if they appear in a spreadsheet sent by any other set.

I am out of the office until 10th March meeting firms in Hong Kong and China but I will be checking my emails throughout this time. However, if you have a query about your submissions or the upcoming deadline, you may wish to email editorial@legal500.com, and a member of the team will come back to you.

In the meantime, below are five FAQs that may help...

Q: Can barristers include the same case in two submissions for different practice areas? A: Yes, there will always be instances where a case straddles two (sometimes three) practice areas.

Q: If a barrister is not ranked, how many practice areas should they submit for? A: Be realistic and focused. It is important not to spread expertise too thinly as it may dilute their case for inclusion. Think about which areas they are more likely to make it into. Ie. Do they have any ‘niche’ specialisms? If so, go for those areas first. For example, a barrister is far more likely to get ranked in sport than they are in professional discipline (the market is less competitive).

Q: What happens if barristers can’t put together five cases for the past year? A: There are two instances where this might occur: (1) They have been involved in one/two time-consuming/long-running cases. If this is the case, I would suggest making this clear at the start of the submission and include these cases followed by a couple more that they have handled prior to the 12 month period. (2) It is a small part of their practice and they haven’t been that active in the area recently. In this instance, I would suggest not submitting as it may dilute their case for inclusion in other sections.

Q: Do a barrister's referees have to be involved in the cases in their submission? A: No, as long as the individual has worked with the barrister in the past 18 months and can comment on their strengths and qualities.<

Q: Do researchers look at barristers’ online profiles? A: Yes, on chambers websites and LinkedIn, so ensure they are keeping these up to date. If they are submitting for an area which is a smaller part of their overall practice, we would still expect there to be reference to their expertise in this area in their online profile.

Still stuck? Further information - including full submission guidelines and referee spreadsheet templates - can be found here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/get-involved.html (under The Legal 500 United Kingdom Bar drop-down).

 

Hello from Singapore!

by Hayley Eustace | 25th January 2016

Hello everyone, this is just a little update to let you know that I'm in Singapore this week meeting with law firms. I will be happy to share my experiences with chambers when I return to the office - I'm sure I'll be coming back with lots of food for thought.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about submissions and/or the upcoming deadline, please email editorial@legal500.com

 

New year, new directory

by Hayley Eustace | 7th January 2016

Happy New Year! We are now less than two months away from the 2016 Bar submission and referee deadline, which is on 4th March. I'm sure many of you are well underway with preparing your documents for the next round of research, and I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have at this stage. Alternatively, if you are based in London (or happen to be in town in the run-up to the deadline), I will be out and about meeting sets over the next couple of months.

All guidelines, research schedules and FAQs can be found online (here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/get-involved.html) under The Legal 500 United Kingdom Bar drop-down.

Finally, in case any of you happen to be in Singapore during the last week of January, let me know, I will be there for a week meeting law firms following the recent publication of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016.

 

2016 Guidelines now Online

by Hayley Eustace | 14th December 2015

I'm pleased to announce that the guidelines and deadlines for the next edition of The Legal 500 UK are now online here.

All you need to do is click on The Legal 500 United Kingdom Bar drop-down and that will give you all the information you need. The important bit is that the deadline for submissions and referees is 4th March 2016.

In the run-up to the deadline I will be blogging hints and tips on submission best practice, so stay tuned!

 

India trip

by Hayley Eustace | 23rd November 2015

Greetings from New Delhi everyone!

This is just a note to say that I'm out of the office for the next couple of weeks in India. I'm in Delhi this week and Mumbai Monday to Wednesday next week, wearing my Asia Pacific 'hat'. I will be checking my emails throughout but my response times may be slower than usual.

There are lots of opportunities for the English Bar in India at the moment and I will be happy to share my experiences with chambers when I return. I already have a couple of meetings set up with members of London sets based in India to get the Bar take on things, but if anyone else is in India over the next couple of weeks, do drop me a line as I still have a little bit of availability.

Otherwise, I'll see you all when I'm back on English soil!

 

NEW! English Bar rankings in the Asia Pacific guide now live

by Hayley Eustace | 9th November 2015

I'm pleased to announce that The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016 is now live at www.legal500.com.

This year is the first year that the English Bar has its own dedicated section, ranking lawyers in the areas of commercial, construction, energy and shipping law. If you have any feedback or queries, please send an email to editorial@legal500.com and I will get back to you. You can also join in with the tweeting by using the hashtag #L500AsiaPac2016

In other news, in case you missed it, here is a round-up of the UK legal market I co-wrote for last month's Legal Business: http://www.legalbusiness.co.uk/index.php/lb-blog-view/4802-the-legal-500-view-more-choice-and-competition-defines-market

 

The Next Couple of Weeks

by Hayley Eustace | 29th October 2015

I thought I'd take this opportunity to update you all on the latest from The Legal 500 HQ.

Over the next couple of weeks, ahead of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific launch, I will be continuing to meet sets to discuss the launch of The Legal 500 UK 2015. If you would like to arrange a meeting in order to gain some feedback on the rankings, please let me know.

In other news, I will be attending the Spark 21 First 100 Years conference on Monday celebrating women in law. If you're going to be there, drop me a line.

 

Update

by Hayley Eustace | 19th October 2015

I thought I'd take this opportunity to update you all on the latest from The Legal 500 HQ.

Last week, I spent a productive four days at the IBA annual conference in Vienna, it was great to see some familiar faces and make lots of new contacts too. Thanks to everyone who stopped by The Legal 500 stand to say hello and browse our range of products/publications.

Since then, I've been busy meeting with sets following the launch of The Legal 500 UK 2015, and will continue to do so until Christmas. Please let me know if you would like to meet up or have any questions relating to the latest edition. Wondering why your set isn't ranked higher? Puzzled why some members aren't recommended? Please do ask, I'm more than happy to provide feedback. This was something I emphasised the importance of at the LPMA directories seminar on Tuesday. It was a great turnout and I'm very grateful to everyone who came along. Lots of other topics were covered, such as submission best practice, how to boost referee response rates and the interview process - if anyone would like a copy of the handout, please let me know.

Next month, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2016 launches. As you know, this will be the first ever edition of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific to feature the English Bar, and I look forward to hearing your feedback. Keep your eyes peeled on 9th November when the rankings will go live here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/asia-pacific/asia-pacific.html

In the meantime, if you haven't done so already, make sure you check out the Client Intelligence Report 2015, the world's largest in-house survey here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/client-intelligence/client-intelligence-survey-intro.html

 

CARIBBEAN MOONLIGHTING

by Mike Nash | 19th October 2015

Over the past couple of days I've been moonlighting as editor of The Legal 500 Caribbean, which also includes coverage of Bermuda. With the growing number of offshore structures being used as part of global strategy, it's well worth a look. The guide goes into production this week and will launch online here on 9 November.

 

IF LAW FIRMS WERE SUPERHEROES

by Hayley Eustace | 5th October 2015

The Legal 500 series provides impartial opinion and analysis on thousands of law firms globally. Alongside helping general counsel to make decisions on which law firms might be the ones to instruct, or helping law firms seeking a referral partner, www.legal500.com also serves a useful purpose alongside our sister publication – The Lex 100 – in helping students and new graduates to identify potential future employers that appeal to them. The latest edition of The Lex 100 is now live at The Lex 100. For a lighthearted, superheroic spin, click here to check out The Lex 100's 2015/16 fictional characters list.

 

The Legal 500 UK 2015 has launched

by Hayley Eustace | 16th September 2015

The day has finally arrived! The Legal 500 UK 2015 is now available to view here.

I look forward to hearing your feedback and would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. As per my previous blog, please send all queries to editorial@legal500.com and allow a couple of days for responses at this busy time.

In a series of features we are rolling out to improve the legal500.com website, you will notice that the search function now allows you to search for lawyers as well as sets and firms, this is a work in progress and you can expect more from our search engine in the coming months. In addition, we have revamped all microsites to include more ranking analyses and quotes on your chambers/members. Have a little play around and let us know what you think. We have plans to enhance aspects of the website further so any feedback you have at this stage would be very welcome.

 

The Legal 500 UK 2015 publishes tomorrow

by Hayley Eustace | 15th September 2015

The final countdown has begun! The Legal 500 UK 2015 guide publishes online tomorrow (16th September). I look forward to hearing your feedback and would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please send all queries to editorial@legal500.com. It is very important they come through this email address and not to me directly. This is to ensure that we log all queries in one place and that everyone is answered in turn. I would like to thank you in advance for your patience at this very busy time; it may take me a couple of days to respond but I will get back to everyone.

Stay tuned on Twitter for teasers ahead of the launch: https://twitter.com/HE_Legal500.

 

LAUNCH OF THE CLIENT INTELLIGENCE REPORT 2015

by Hayley Eustace | 8th September 2015

It's well worth noting the launch of The Client Intelligence Report 2015 (Twitter: #CIR2015 / @clientintel), a comprehensive investigational survey into the global legal market that includes the feedback of over 4,700 GCs and in-house respondents in 120 countries. The survey findings, which have now been launched, include responses from 82% of the FTSE 100 and 80% of the Fortune 100. The respondents provided approximately 2,000 hours of interview time to allow us to compile the largest ever legal survey.

The Legal 500's editors recently got a sneak preview of the data, which provided a mix of the interesting / enlightening / surprising alongside the reliably familiar - some matters that get a lot of media coverage are not so important to GCs, it seems; but the findings also in many ways support and substantiate the common refrain of client referees that respond to research for The Legal 500 Series each year (we contact 250,000+ during research each year). #CIR2015 is instructive stuff that is free to all the survey's participants and can be purchased by law firms.

To find out more, please click here.

 

IBC talk

by Hayley Eustace | 21st August 2015

I'm pleased to announce that on 15th September, I will be speaking at a seminar hosted by the IBC.

'The Legal Directories: A how-to guide to giving them what they want' will be an opportunity for chambers to find out more about the research process at The Legal 500 including hints and tips on submission best practice and how to best present your barristers cases for inclusion in the Bar guide. Catherine Bailey of Bar Marketing will also be speaking at the event which will be held at 23 Essex Street. For more information, please see here.

 

The Legal 500 UK 2015 publication date

by Hayley Eustace | 19th August 2015

This is just a quick hello from me to announce that The Legal 500 UK 2015 publication date is 16th September - the website will be updated on this day and the hard copies will be distributed shortly after.

The editorial is currently at the printers but if there are any barrister moves between now and publication, please do let me know as we can reflect this in the online copy. I look forward to hearing feedback on the guide when it goes live next month.

 

BAR EDITING - THE END IS NIGH

by Hayley Eustace | 14th July 2015

First of all, I'd like to apologise for my radio silence. As you know, summer brings with it the editing of The Legal 500 UK Bar guide, and I'm pleased to say that the I have now made it over the first hurdle: all editorial is now up with our lovely production department who are currently making it look beautiful in print.

There are still plenty more read-throughs to follow over the next couple of weeks, but I thought I'd take this opportunity to thank all the chambers that have got involved this year. The 2015 edition is looking great, and it's all thanks to you.

To everyone who acted as a referee for The Legal 500 UK, thank you to you too. We have received some cracking quotes this year, and some of the best are being tweeted here: https://twitter.com/HE_Legal500 - so keep your eyes peeled to see if yours gets a special mention and get guessing at who is being quoted.

The Legal 500 UK 2015 will be published in mid-September, and as always, I will welcome your feedback then.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT OF ADDITIONAL ROLE

by Hayley Eustace | 6th May 2015

I am delighted to announce that my role at The Legal 500 now also includes the Asia Pacific region. Going forward, my title will be UK Bar and Asia Pacific Editor, meaning I will be responsible for both guides. As many of you know, the next edition of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific will include a section on the English Bar for the first time, so both directories not only naturally connect, but this is also a fantastic opportunity to develop two different products and expand my knowledge and connections across the Asia Pacific region along with Andrea Leber (Deputy Asia Pacific Editor).

The Bar remains very important to me and will not be impacted by the additional responsibilities - far from it. Much of the work done by UK barristers now has an international element to it, often involving Asia, so the two link together very nicely. Furthermore, the research, editing and publication time frames do not overlap, meaning that I am able to fully focus on both guides.

I am more committed than ever to the Bar, and will continue to work hard to ensure the strengths of chambers and barristers are accurately reflected in The Legal 500 UK. As ever, I welcome feedback on how we can improve the guide further and will be happy to answer any questions relating to my recent role change or the Bar directory as a whole.

 

RESEARCHER DETAILS NOW LIVE

by Hayley Eustace | 9th April 2015

I'm pleased to announce that the research for the 2015 edition of The Legal 500 UK is now underway and the Bar researchers and their contact details can be found here: /assets/images/research/uk2015/legal500-uk-bar-researchers.pdf

Most of the team are returning to research the Bar again this year, so you'll find lots of familiar names on the list. In fact, many of the researchers have researched their sections for over three years, meaning they are not only well acquainted with you as chambers, but also with their respective markets and how they have developed over time.

I would urge you to contact the researchers directly to request meetings/interviews, and for anything else, I am here to help.

 

BAR SUBMISSION AND REFEREE DEADLINE TOMORROW

by Hayley Eustace | 5th March 2015

The deadline for Bar submissions and referees is tomorrow. It is very important we receive everything by tomorrow to ensure that all referees are given the chance to provide feedback. Any referees that reach us from next week onwards are unlikely to be contacted.

I'm in the office today and tomorrow, and happy to answer any last-minute queries.

In the meantime, there are some tips and FAQs to be found in previous posts on this blog, please have a read through.

 

GLOBAL LAW SUMMIT: TUESDAY

by Hayley Eustace | 2nd March 2015

Last week, I attended the Global Law Summit at Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, a one-off event held in celebration of the 800th year since the sealing of Magna Carta. The theme was inspiring legal innovation, and Tuesday's sessions certainly gave some food for thought.

Cutting edge innovation

I began the day with 'Cutting edge innovation - the catalyst for change', a panel session chaired by The Lawyer's Catrin Griffiths, looking at how in-house lawyers and law firms are rethinking the way they work and the services they provide, as traditional models change and client expectations increase.

Reena SenGupta (RSG Consulting) started by discussing evolution in the role of the lawyer, explaining that 'a lawyer is no longer just a technical legal person but now a business person'.

'Lawyers change so slowly', she observed. 'But that change is coming.'

But what does it mean to be an innovative lawyer? SenGupta says it is a 'restlessness', 'a desire to change and improve'. She also looked ahead to the next ten years and predicted law firm diversification, the end of the billable hour, and the increasing use of technology to deliver legal services.

Neville Eisenberg (Berwin Leighton Paisner) discussed the democratisation of legal services and the five key market trends: Pricing pressures, commoditisation, consolidation, internationalisation and new organisations entering the legal market.

'The future is moving towards client self-service', he says. But until that comes, a client-centric approach and a tailored service is what is expected.

Julia Apostle (Twitter) gave us the in-house perspective. As we all know, Twitter is a company borne of innovation. The challenge, she says, is remaining innovative.

'The culture of innovation is a mindset', she says. Twitter's strong set of values encompass communication and experimentation. But with innovation comes new legal risks.

The future of the legal profession

Tuesday's plenary session came from author Richard Susskind. A compelling, passionate, entertaining (and frankly, a little scary!) speech on the future of the legal profession and the part technology has played and will play in transforming the industry.

The crux of his presentation comes down to the fact that lawyers no longer need to be human. I told you it was scary. Online courts will become the norm and so much of the 'admin' that lawyers handle today will be dealt with by a computer.

The practice of law and the administration of justice will change more radically over the next decade than the last century. 'Young lawyers cannot plan their careers in the same way they used to', he says. 'The future will look nothing like the past.' He then explained how the legal sector will go through three stages: Denial, re-sourcing work and disruption.

Susskind certainly put a cat (probably a robotic one) amongst the pigeons but his point was an important one: Technological advancement should be seen by lawyers as an opportunity. An opportunity to think differently. An opportunity to shape the future.

 

NEW: ASIA PACIFIC BAR SECTION

by Hayley Eustace | 18th February 2015

As part of our ongoing commitment to the Bar, I’m delighted to announce that The Legal 500 is now extending its Bar coverage to the Asia Pacific region.

For the first time, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific will include an English Bar section, recognising the reputation and experience of our country’s leading sets and barristers active across the region. It will feature editorial on the chambers with a significant presence throughout Asia Pacific, as well as ranking barristers in the following international arbitration sections: commercial, construction, energy, investment treaty and shipping.

The deadline for submissions and referees for the forthcoming edition of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific is 22nd May 2015. More information can be found here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/get-involved.html (under The Legal 500 Asia Pacific drop-down).

We are expecting a large number of submissions for this new section, and I would therefore urge all barristers to think about the following before submitting:

  1. Can you truly say that a large proportion of your practice involves the Asia Pacific region? Barristers do not have to be based full-time in the region, but this certainly helps.

  2. Have you built a substantial list of law firm contacts in the region that would be able to comment on your strengths and qualities? We require a minimum of five referees per barrister per practice area, but will also be interviewing law firms and gaining 'unprompted' recommendations from partners based in the region.

  3. Can you put together a list of five work highlights, which showcase your recent experience across Asia Pacific?

  4. Please bear in mind that our junior rankings will be shorter in length compared to the silk rankings, recognising just a few standout names with reputations that speak for themselves.

As always, if you have any questions, I will be happy to help.

In the meantime, I would like to kindly remind everyone that the submission and referee deadline for The Legal 500 UK 2015 is 6th March.

 

PANEL SESSION: BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IN THE LEGAL INDUSTRY

by Hayley Eustace | 3rd February 2015

I'm delighted to announce that I will be speaking on the panel at the next London Legal Networking Group seminar 'Building Effective Relationships within the Legal Industry' hosted by No5 Chambers on 23rd February.

Chaired by Brian Lee (Marketing and Practice Development Director at 7KBW/Chairman of the IBC), the session will cover business development, the use of social media, client care, communication skills and the importance of networking within the legal industry.

Also on the panel are: Samuel Okoronkwo (Barrister and FA Registered Lawyer at 4-5 Grays Inn Square Chambers), Sean Cottrell (CEO of LawinSport) and Giedre Jakubonyte (Solicitor at DMH Stallard LLP/Chair of the London Young Lawyers Group).

For more information and to sign up for the event, visit: http://www.meetup.com/londonlegalnetworkinggroup/events/220162663/

 

THE ALL IMPORTANT QUESTION

by Hayley Eustace | 26th January 2015

I'm receiving a number of queries from sets at the moment as clerks and marketing teams are busy preparing submissions. One of the most frequent questions I hear, not only now, but at the time of research, is: 'What makes a tier one set?' or 'What makes a tier one barrister?' Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as that...

Our research is mostly based on qualitative data, meaning it can't be measured using a number of tick boxes. Sometimes people assume that tier one sets tick all the boxes, tier two tick the majority of them etc, etc... Rather, the researchers will look at the overall picture in order to put together the rankings, taking into account a range of factors. These are below:

Set rankings
  • Collective strength of the set
  • General reputation in the market
  • Scope of practice
  • Quality of work handled by members over the past year
  • Number of members recommended in the previous edition of The Legal 500
  • Seniority/profile of the barristers
Barrister rankings
  • Referee/solicitor/peer feedback
  • Complexity/profile of cases handled in the past year
  • Courts the barrister has appeared in in the past 12 months
  • Proportion of time spent handling work relating to the practice area
  • Year of call (we don't tend to rank barristers under eight years' call)
  • Relevant past experience (Eg. Someone who specialised in the practice area before coming to the Bar, perhaps as a solicitor)

It is also worth summarising that, although the importance of these factors does vary by practice area, the two single most important factors are (a) credible recent work highlights and (b) market feedback.

Complexity and precedent-setting nature of work is more important than sheer volume of work, but there is still a place for volume work done well.

The idea behind listing these factors on this blog is to try make the research process as transparent as possible, and hopefully this will help you when you're thinking about the sort of information to include in submissions. As always, if you have any questions, you know where I am.

On another note, I am currently working with the editor of The Legal 500 Asia Pacific on an exciting new project for the Bar. More details to follow on that very soon, so watch this space!

 

THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS

by Hayley Eustace | 15th January 2015

The Bar submission and referee deadline is now less than two months away and throughout January, February and March, I'll be meeting with London sets to answer any questions about the process. I'm also arranging to come into sets and present to barristers on submission best practice. Let me know if you're interested.

More information can be found here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/get-involved.html and you'll notice that the Bar now has it's own drop-down tab, which should make things a bit easier.

I'll continue to post more submission hints and tips on this blog over the next couple of months, but in the meantime, don't forget the all-important deadline date - 6th March.

 

FIVE IMPORTANT SUBMISSION FAQs

by Hayley Eustace | 7th January 2015

Happy new year all, here is the latest blog from me with more useful hints and tips on submitting. The Bar guidelines can found here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/about-us/get-involved.html

Q: Do you have a submission pro forma that chambers should use?
A: No, we do not provide templates or forms for sets to fill out, but please email editorial@legal500.com if you would like to see an example submission (to give an idea of structure).

Q: Can a barrister include the same case in two submissions for different practice areas?
A: Yes, there will always be instances where a case straddles two (sometimes three) practice areas.

Q: What happens if a barrister can’t put together five cases for the past year?
A: There are two instances where this might occur: (1) They have been involved in one/two time-consuming/long-running cases. If this is the case, I would suggest making this clear at the start of their submission and include these cases followed by a couple more that they have handled prior to the 12 month period. (2) It is a small part of their practice and they haven’t been that active in the area recently. In this instance, I would suggest not submitting as it may dilute their case for inclusion in other sections.

Q: Do a barrister's referees have to be involved in the cases in their submission?
A: No, as long as the individual has worked with the barrister in the past 18 months and can comment on their strengths and qualities.

Q: Do researchers look at barristers’ online profiles?
A: Yes, on chambers websites and LinkedIn, so ensure they are keeping these up to date. If they are submitting for an area which is a smaller part of their overall practice, we would still expect there to be reference to their expertise in this area in their online profile.

 

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SUBMISSION?

by Hayley Eustace | 16th December 2014

Now that the submission guidelines are online (here), I thought it would be a good opportunity to let you know some useful tips when it comes to submitting...


What makes a good submission?
  • The best submissions are those that follow the structure we layout in our guidelines, and make it clear which barristers are already recommended/seeking a recommendation at the very start. Researchers cover a number of practice areas and often it will not appear obvious which barristers are already ranked, just by looking at the names.
  • Keep it simple. Submissions should be kept succinct. One A4 page should be allocated to each barrister (two A4 pages at the very most).
  • There is a tendency to get bogged down in the technicalities when describing a case; ensure that the submission clearly illustrates why each work highlight is a ‘highlight’. Explain how it is complex, groundbreaking and/or unique.
  • Ensure the format is simple and easy to follow. Avoid lots of different colours and backgrounds.

Common mistakes
  • Re-sending submissions originally meant for other directories, with feedback that does not apply to our rankings.
  • Copying and pasting information from the barristers’ online profiles.
  • Citing case names without any details of the barristers’ involvement.
  • Sending submissions in an email with the incorrect subject line. Submissions must be sent to editorial@legal500.com with this in the email subject line: ‘UK/London Bar/[Practice area]/[Set name]’. This ensures that the submission is filed correctly.
  • Submitting when you shouldn't. I always advise barristers to start by looking at our current bottom tier before submitting. If you can honestly say that you are on a par with those currently ranked, then by all means do submit. But if you aren't, then don't. As a guide, we don't tend to rank juniors under eight years' call.
  • Including too many barristers that are currently not recommended. It is important to be realistic; we are unlikely to add more than three barristers from one set to one practice area for the first time. It is best to focus on a smaller number of barristers seeking inclusion. A researcher’s time is limited; the smaller the group of barristers you submit for first-time inclusion, the more time they can spend analysing their case.
  • Listing rankings and awards given by other publications. We do not take awards into account when ranking as it is hard for us to judge credibility of such accolades, we also do not know the factors that were taken into account in order to achieve the award. With regards to rankings of other directories, we tend to take a look at these anyway, so it's not necessary to include these in the submission.
  • Including referees in the submission. This takes up unnecessary space. The referees should be submitted in an Excel spreadsheet using the template provided (here.)
  • Not asking for feedback. I am happy to provide this. If a barrister has been trying and failing to get ranked, then why not ask the question? You have nothing to lose!

As always, if you have any questions, you know where I am. Wednedsday 17th December is my last day in the office until 5th January, so this is the last you'll hear from me before Christmas. I wish you all a very merry festive period! More tips and FAQs to follow in the new year so watch this space.

 

THE LEGAL 500 UK 2015 RESEARCH

by Hayley Eustace | 8th December 2014

It's that time of year again, no not Christmas time, submission time! The new year is only round the corner and chambers should now begin preparing submissions and referee spreadsheets.

I'm pleased to announce that the research page for the 2015 edition is now live (here) All you need to do is click on 'The Legal 500 United Kingdom' and all the information will appear. This includes submission guidelines (which have been updated for 2015), referee spreadsheet templates and FAQs. I have bullet-pointed some of the key points/changes below:

  1. The deadline for submissions and referees is 6 March 2015
  2. VERY IMPORTANT AND NON-NEGOTIABLE: All referees must reach us by 6 March. Any referees received between midnight on Friday 6 March 2015 and midnight on 20 March 2015 will only be contacted if that individual has not already been submitted in a spreadsheet by any other firm or set before midnight on Friday 6 March 2015. This is to help ensure that referees do not receive multiple emails from us. Any referees submitted after midnight on Friday 20 March 2015 will not be accepted or contacted.
  3. Inquests and inquiries is a new London section for 2015.

I posted some referee FAQs on this blog on 7th November and I will be posting similar tips here in the lead up to the deadline, so keep your eyes peeled.

If you have any questions at all, or would like to arrange a meeting to discuss the above, please get in touch - happy to help.

 

THE LEGAL 500 UK AWARDS 2014

by Hayley Eustace | 28th November 2014

Last Wednesday, we held The Legal 500 UK awards 2014, where we recognise and reward the very best of the best across the legal industry over the past 12 months. Our awards event is like no other, and this year proved to be another great success. Held at The Crypt on Ely Place, we hosted a dinner for the award winners and fantastic opportunity to network with others in the legal profession. A mix of barristers, clerks, solicitors and in-house counsel attended and left that night with their shiny trophies and lots of new connections made.

All the winners can be found here: http://www.legal500.com/assets/pages/awards/uk/2014/home.html

All the winners can be found here: www.legal500.com/assets/pages/awards/uk/2014/2014-event-photos.html

Congratulations to all, please send your feedback (and requests for high-res photos) to editorial@legal500.com

 

REGIONAL TOUR: DONE!

by Hayley Eustace | 20th November 2014

Yesterday's trip to Liverpool concluded my travels around the UK visiting chambers. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the clerks and barristers I met along the way. Your feedback on the latest edition was invaluable and the insight you were able to provide into the local legal landscapes was also very useful and interesting.

As many of you (in the regions and London) are now gearing up for the 2015 research process, I'm pleased to say we will have a submission and referee deadline for you in the next couple of weeks, so watch this space. As a rough guide, it will be around late February/early March.

As always, you know where I am if you have any questions in the meantime.

 

REFEREE INFORMATION - PLEASE READ

by Hayley Eustace | 7th November 2014

I've received a number of queries in the past month relating to our referee process so I thought I'd put together a few FAQs which may help when you come to prepare everything for the 2015 edition.

1. Is there a limit to how many referees The Legal 500 will contact?
No, the more the merrier! Every referee that is sent to us before the deadline in the correct spreadsheet format will be contacted.

2. As a guide though, how many referees should each barrister put forward?
The advice I always give is a minimum of five per barrister, per practice area, but please don't be afraid to send more.

3. What happens if we miss the deadline?
Your referees won't be contacted at all if you miss the deadline by over two weeks, if you miss it by 1-13 days then some may be contacted, but this is not guaranteed.

4. Who can be a referee?
Anyone who has recent experience working with the barrister and can objectively comment on their expertise. Referees are usually solicitors, direct clients or other barristers (opponents/leaders/juniors). Treasury solicitors will not provide feedback to directories and the CPS are not likely to either.

5. How does The Legal 500 contact referees?
They are all sent an email asking for feedback on the barrister(s) in question as well as their views on chambers as a whole (including the quality of clerking and service provided by the set).

6. How can we improve response rates?

  1. Provide as many referees as possible!
  2. Put forward referees who are more likely to respond (bearing in mind that senior figures may have less time to spend on replying). I normally suggest thinking about senior associates rather than partners. Sometimes sets focus too heavily on referees that are likely to impress us, but we find it more effective to measure the number of responses (and what people are saying) rather than the profile/seniority of those responding.
  3. Make referees aware that we will be contacting them via email. As a rough guide, referees sent on time will normally be emailed around six to eight weeks after the deadline.
  4. Ensure that referees realise it takes less than five minutes to reply to our emails. We don’t send lengthy questionnaires that can only be accessed through links and will ask a maximum of five simple questions.
  5. Put forward referees who have worked with the barrister in question in the past year (or at the very most, two years). Referees who worked with the barrister over two years ago will be less inclined to respond. Greater weight will be placed on recent references.
  6. Include a variety of referees, but bear in mind that greater weight will be placed on the views of direct clients and solicitors.

 

TRIP UPDATE

by Hayley Eustace | 30th October 2014

As always, I like to keep you updated with my movements. I've just finished three days of meeting stables in Scotland and chambers in Newcastle. It's great to catch up with sets outside London and also useful to hear feedback on the latest edition of The Legal 500 UK.

I'm in Leeds today and tomorrow (30th and 31st October), and then in Nottingham and Birmingham on Monday and Tuesday next week. I have a few available slots left, so if any sets in these locations would like to set up a meeting, drop me an email at hayley.eustace@legal500.com

 

WORKING THE ROOM

by Hayley Eustace | 22nd October 2014

Last night I attended a highly informative and entertaining seminar given by Haynes Consulting's Simon Gill. The session was on 'how to work a room' and was hosted by London Legal Networking Group (LLNG) and No5 Chambers. Tailored for the legal sector, Gill gave us all some really useful tips on networking and how to maximise your time at business functions. It was the first-ever seminar put on by LLNG, and was attended by clerks, barristers, solicitors and law graduates. The drinks to follow then presented a great opportunity for everyone to put their skills to the test.

For more information, see: http://www.haynesconsulting.co.uk/

 

OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER

by Hayley Eustace | 13th October 2014

Now that the dust has settled post launch I'm able to update my blog. I've been overwhelmed by the feedback The Legal 500 UK 2014 Bar directory has received and would urge you all to keep your comments coming!

Throughout October and November, I'll be meeting sets, so please get in touch if you'd like to set up an appointment. I'm also offering presentations to Chambers on submitting and the research process. The presentation is entitled 'How to maximise your presence in The Legal 500' and it only takes around 15 minutes, so do let me know if you'd like me to present to your barristers and answer any questions they may have.

Much of October and November will also be spent meeting sets in the regions and Scotland; dates/locations are listed below:

  • 27th and 28th October: Edinburgh
  • 29th October: Newcastle
  • 30th and 31st October: Leeds
  • 3rd November: Nottingham
  • 4th November: Birmingham
  • 10th November: Cardiff
  • 11th and 12th November: Bristol
  • 17th and 18th November: Manchester
  • 19th November: Liverpool

 

...AND IT'S HERE!

by Hayley Eustace | 1st October 2014

Today is the day The Legal 500 UK 2014 launches, including coverage of country’s most impressive barristers, chambers and stables. This year, I'm delighted to announce that the Bar directory is larger than ever before.

As you will see, the new and improved layout means there are more quotes on barristers, clerks and chambers, and that service and the quality of practice management features more prominently in the editorial. The guide is broken down by location (London, the regional circuits and the Scottish Bar), then by practice area.

This year, over 180 sets feature in the guide, all of which have their own write-up in the newly created Set Overviews section, designed to summarise the key strengths, capabilities and service provided by each chambers. Recommendations across the Bar directory follow hundreds of interviews carried out in 2014 by a highly knowledgeable research team, many of whom have covered the Bar (and their respective sections) in previous years.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all sets for their involvement and continued support, it really means a lot to us and enables us to produce the most accurate analysis of the Bar available. I'll be meeting London sets throughout October, and visiting the regions and Scotland in November, so please get in touch; I'd welcome your feedback. All queries and comments should go to editorial@legal500.com. I will reply in due course, but would politely ask you to be patient at this extremely busy time, as sometimes I may take a few days to respond.

 

NEXT WEEK...

by Hayley Eustace | 19th September 2014

As many of you already know, I will be in Malaysia and Singapore during the week commencing 22nd September. It is a great opportunity for me to find out more about the ever-increasing presence of the UK Bar in Asia. During the week, I will be attending numerous meetings with law firms, in-house counsel and chambers, in order to broaden my knowledge of the Asian legal market. The trip also coincides with the highly publicised launches of Thirty Nine Essex Street in Kuala Lumpur and Fountain Court in Singapore.

My research into the presence of the Bar abroad doesn't stop here though, when I return, I have more meetings set up, and if anyone would like to discuss this, please let me know. Equally, if you are reading this and happen to be in either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore between 22nd and 26th September, do drop me a line.

The next you'll hear from me will be on UK publication day (1st October), so until then...

 

KUALA LUMPUR AND SINGAPORE

by Hayley Eustace | 22nd August 2014

I'm delighted to announce that between 22nd and 26th September I will be in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to find out more about the Asian legal market and the presence of the UK Bar abroad. If anyone would like to have a chat about this, just drop me a line at hayley.eustace@legal500.com.

I'm off on holiday next week, so this is the last you'll hear from me in a while. If you have an urgent query between 27th August and 8th September please email editorial@legal500.com

 

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE LEGAL 500 UK 2014

by Hayley Eustace | 13th August 2014

I'm pleased to announce that The Legal 500 UK 2014 will be published during the first week of October.

In the meantime, I'll be available for meetings; if any chambers would like to arrange something, just let me know on hayley.eustace@legal500.com.

 

LONDON LEGAL NETWORKING GROUP MEET UP

by Hayley Eustace | 7th August 2014

Last night, I attended my first networking event organised by the London Legal Networking Group. Set up in early 2014 by clerk Dan Sullivan, it brings together people from across the legal sector. So far, there have only been a handful of organised events but the group has grown significantly since January, and yesterday saw around 50 members turn up to Kanaloa Bar on Shoe Lane for cocktails and nibbles; it was good to see such a great mix of barristers, solicitors, paralegals, clerks and law graduates all in one room together.

A fun night was had by all. Anyone who is interested in joining should visit www.meetup.com/londonlegalnetworkinggroup for more information.

 

CALLING ALL CHAMBERS: LAST CHANCE FOR 2014!

by Hayley Eustace | 01st August 2014

I'm currently doing the final read throughs of the Bar 2014 PDFs, and it's been really exciting seeing how the new layout is going to look in the book.

Next Friday is the final sign off, so if there are any last-minute developments in your set that you'd like to alert me of, now is the time to do so. I'm most interested in any recent barrister moves that you've not already informed me about.

 

SORRY FOR THE RADIO SILENCE...

by Hayley Eustace | 24th July 2014

Many of you haven't heard from me in a while as I've been firmly cemented to my desk for the past month or so editing. Tomorrow, however, will be the final day of editing, and the Bar editorial and rankings will then be in the trusty hands of our production team.

The rankings are strictly secret until September, but I'm uploading teaser quotes on twitter (@HE_Legal500) for those who are interested. We've had some brilliant sound bites this year, so a big thank you to all those who provided feedback.

I'd also like to say thanks to all the sets that have invited me along to their summer parties recently; they have been lovely ways to spend these beautiful summer evenings.

I look forward to catching up with the rest of you very, very soon!

 

THE LEGAL 500 UK 2014: JUST TWO MONTHS TO GO

by Hayley Eustace | 17th July 2014

As the countdown begins, and the editing process is almost over, I'd just like to say another thank you to all who got involved in the 2014 research. I'm really pleased with how the new Bar layout is looking, and will welcome your feedback in September. In the meantime, once the editing is over in August, I'll be freed up to get back out into the market, so if any sets would like to set up a meeting please get in touch.

 

The IBC Clerks' Conference 2014

by Hayley Eustace | 28th May 2014

On Saturday 21st June, I'll be speaking at the IBC Clerks' Conference in Leeds on The Legal 500 research process.

My slot is at 2.15, and I will be covering submissions, referees and interviews. It will be a good opportunity to learn more about how we put together the rankings, as well as what makes a good submission, how to ensure you get the best referee response rates, and who to put forward for interviews. For those of you who attended the IBC Legal Directories Seminar in London last September, it will follow a similar structure, but will also touch on some of the changes we are making to the editorial this year. If there is anything in particular that you would like me to cover, please email me at hayley.eustace@legal500.com. If not, come and say hello on the day!

 

Thank you!

by Hayley Eustace | 24th May 2014

On behalf of the entire Bar team at The Legal 500, I'd like to thank chambers for their participation in the 2014 research. This year has seen us receive a record number of submissions and we are hugely grateful for all the work that goes into putting them together.

As the researchers are coming to the end of the writing period, I'm looking forward to editing their respective sections. I've already read through a few, and am really pleased with how the new layout is looking (for those of you who aren't aware yet, the 2014 publication will display the Bar editorial in a new format, with more quotes, and more on service and clerking too). I look forward to hearing your feedback when it is published in September.

 

Calling all referees!

by Hayley Eustace | 19th May 2014

I've had a number of emails from referees asking if they are too late to submit feedback. If you were contacted by a researcher requesting comment on barristers or London law firms, we are still accepting feedback for the next couple of weeks, so even if you have missed our original deadline, we'd be still be delighted to hear from you.

A big thanks to those that have already sent us your comments, check online in September see if your quotes made the cut!

 

A fantastic night at the Supreme Court Twilight Hours event

by Hayley Eustace | 15th May 2014

Last week, I went along to Court adjourned! Twilight hours at the Supreme Court. What a brilliant night!

I found out about the event though Twitter, and myself and a friend (also working in the legal sector) decided to buy tickets for what turned out to be a sold-out evening.

We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Grade II listed heritage building and finding out more about its renovation. We snapped our way around the courtrooms and sipped our way through legally themed cocktails, but my personal highlight was hearing from court artist Isobel Williams, one of the night's speakers. Williams filled courtroom 1, and spoke so passionately about her love for drawing, and what led her to illustrating the daytime work of justices and lawyers. In a really inspirational talk, she spoke of how she captures the emotion and atmosphere of a hearing by drawing from the back of a courtroom (often half-perched on a seat). Incidentally, her blog is called 'Drawing from an uncomfortable position' - take a look, her pieces really are quite unique: http://isobelwilliams.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Bar practice areas - any suggestions?

by Hayley Eustace | 10th May 2014

Here at The Legal 500, we have been keeping a tally of new Bar section suggestions for the 2015 edition, if there are any practice areas that we don't cover or that need to be broken down further, please let me know: hayley.eustace@legal500.com