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by MIKE NASH | 23rd JUNE 2016 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.



by Seth Singh Jennings | 15th June 2016

The Legal 500 United States 2016 is now live on our website:

I hope you are pleased with the results, but of course we are always happy to receive feedback and answer queries. As always, anything of this nature should be directed to This includes anything that is urgent, which should be marked as such.

Sending queries to the central email address ensures that everything is logged properly and that nothing falls between the cracks. Please do not send emails directly to me, as this leads to duplicate queries which complicates the process.

The other thing to note is that the guidelines for the 2017 edition of the guide will go up on the site in August.

Thank you for your cooperation!



by Seth Singh Jennings | 25th May 2016

Hello! You may be aware already, but as a result of having - essentially - more book to deal with, we have had to push back the planned launch date from June 1 to June 15. Our apologies if this impacts you in any way - it is not a decision we took lightly, but in the end it was decided that the extra time was necessary.

On the bright side, you will get to enjoy new sections such as International litigation; Corporate governance; and Commercial deals and contracts. You will also see that there have been changes made to existing sections. For instance, "Bank lending" is now "Commercial lending", to reflect the rise in alternative lenders - and it has also been split it into two tables: advice to borrowers and advice to lenders. We have split Environment: transaction and regulatory into two separate sections; and Energy: transactional has been divided into separate oil & gas and conventional power sections. Also, "Commercial litigation" is now "General commercial disputes". This is a broader category that encompasses mediation and arbitration.

The delay is unfortunate, but overall I am confident that the finished product will be worth the wait!



Hello! I'm back!

by Seth Singh Jennings | 25th April 2016

Sorry for the radio silence but I've been glued to Microsoft Word for the best part of three months - and let me tell you, it wasn't as fun as it sounds. The good news is, it's over - editing for The Legal 500 US is complete. Yes!!! I journeyed to the outer limits of human endurance, and somehow, against the odds, I made it back alive.

If you're eagerly anticipating publication, the date to remember is June 1st, 2016. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email




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



by Seth Singh Jennings | 18th December 2015

So the holidays are almost upon us, and yet again they fall right in the middle of US research. What are the chances?!!

Today is my last day in the office until 2016, so I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you again for your continued participation in the research process - we recognise that it's big undertaking on your end and we really appreciate your efforts.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!




by Seth Singh Jennings | 1st December 2015

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a Turkey-licious (or Tofurky-licious) Thanksgiving holiday!

US research officially started yesterday, so around now is the time when you should expect emails from eager researchers itching for the lowdown on the latest news and developments. In fact, for some sections, you may have been contacted as early as last week - that's how keen we are.

If you haven't been contacted already, and you're interested to see who will be researching what, click here and then scroll down to and open up the part of the page where it says 'The Legal 500 United States'. You'll find the link for the list of assignments under the 'Researchers' heading.

Were you to click this link and cast your eye over the finance assignments, you will see a researcher listed with the name Seth Singh Jennings. To avoid any confusion - because let's face it, Seth Singh Jenningses are everywhere these days - this is actually me. Yep, I've signed myself up to do debt and high yield research.

You may be wondering if this some kind of post Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas punishment to atone for all the Turkeys? The answer is no, I just really, really like Rule 144A offerings of long term senior debentures. I will be reaching out to you shortly to set up calls, but please do get in touch if you want to make a head start:




by Seth Singh Jennings | 19th November 2015

Hello all!

Both US submission deadlines (November 11 and November 18) have now passed! Thank you to everyone who has sent over submissions already. Those of you who haven't but are intending to, there is still time - but please be quick!

Haste is particularly important in relation to the references, as we begin processing these as soon as they are received. (There is more information on late referees here - scroll down to and click on where it says The Legal 500 United States.) Regarding the matter highlights, there is more flexibility, but please do let me know if you're behind schedule and require an extension.




by Seth Singh Jennings | 23rd October 2015

So I'm back from the US of A! All round it was a huge success - I met some lovely people, learned more about some great firms, saw some amazing offices, ate (a lot of) excellent food... I even managed to catch up with some friends along the way. The downside is that being back in the office now seems mundane by comparison.

Chicago was my first stop, where I had the opportunity to meet with Morgan Lewis, Latham & Watkins, Katten Muchin, Winston & Strawn, Kirkland & Ellis, Baker & McKenzie, DLA Piper, Neal Gerber and Vedder Price - top quality firms all. Thank you everyone for taking the time - and for helping make my trip to the Windy City a pleasant one! In fact I should also thank chief editor Mike Nash for that, as it was his suggestion I go then rather than later in the year, when I fear the cold may have done me in. Shout out also to Lou Malnati's for some first rate deep dish.

Next New York, the city that never sleeps - including me on the night of Sunday 11, when the Mets played the Dodgers. I didn't realise this at the time, however. In fact the whole occasion would have passed me by completely were it not for the yob in the adjacent room bellowing at the telly. Unwelcome awakenings aside, it was a great week and a bit.

Thank you to Sullivan & Cromwell, Paul Weiss, Schulte Roth, White & Case, Debevoise, Cravath, O'Melveny & Myers, Kaye Scholer, Morgan Lewis again, Paul Hastings, Cleary Gottlieb, Clifford Chance, Skadden, Latham again, Weil Gotshal, Ropes & Gray, Venable, Dechert, Pryor Cashman, Simpson Thacher, Fried Frank, Sidley Austin, Akerman, Shearman & Sterling, Arnold & Porter, Greenberg Traurig, MoloLamken and Reed Smith. A snazzier list of law firms you couldn't hope to see.

Food wise, I had some amazing steak at Quality Meats - although I'm still highly skeptical of the name - as well as the name of its sister restaurant, Quality Italian. Inventive in the kitchen, not so much in the sign shop. I'm willing to accept, though, that some of my skepticism is due to the fact that, in the UK, we have a brand of chocolate box called Quality Street, where it's fair to say the confectionery doesn't quite live up to the billing.

Other top dining experiences included An Choi in the Lower East Side, Gyu-Kaku and PJ Clarke's in Midtown, and Saraghinas in Bed-Stuy. (Yep, I get around a bit). Best experience over all was definitely visiting the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side. If you live in New York, and you haven't yet been, then I suggest you make it a priority. It's just a fascinating insight into the history of the surrounding area, which ethnically and culturally is one of the richest places on earth. Loved it.

Ok, that's all from me for now.




by Mike Nash | 19th October 2015

Canada has been increasingly attracting the interest of the international legal community in the past couple of years. We're pleased to announce that the latest edition of The Legal 500 Canada is now available to view online here.



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.



by Mike Nash | 19th October 2015

Canada has been increasingly attracting the interest of the international legal community in the past couple of years. We're pleased to announce that the latest edition of The Legal 500 Canada is now available to view online here.



by Seth Singh Jennings | 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, 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.


Next week- Chi-Town & NYC

by Seth Singh Jennings | 30th September 2015

It's not long now till I'm stateside. A big thank you to all the firms that have already shown an interest in meeting while I'm over. It looks like I'm going to have a busy couple of weeks ahead, but if you haven't yet been in touch, and you think you would like to meet, have no fear, I still have some space in my diary!


Chicago & New York

by Seth Singh Jennings | 15th September 2015

Flights are booked! Hoorah! I'll be in Chicago for the entirety of Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th of October, and for a good portion of the day on Wednesday 7th. From the 8th to 16th, I'll be in New York (although I will need to leave mid-afternoon on the 16th to make my flight back to London).

If you're keen to meet, please get in touch: Quite a few of you have already done this, which is great! And if you have, rest assured that I have not forgotten! You will be hearing from me very soon to set something up - probably later today or tomorrow.

I will try my best to meet with everyone, but of course there is a natural limit to how many meetings I can squeeze in. If it turns out, due to time constraints, that I cannot meet with you, I will make you a priority next time I'm in town!



by Seth Singh Jennings | 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.



by Seth Singh Jennings | 4th September 2015

There hasn't been a whole lot to report since the guidelines for The Legal 500 US 2016 went up last week, but I thought I'd keep you in the loop and tell you that I'm in the process of planning my first trip over, which should be early-mid October. I can't say more than that right now, but I expect to have a more definite idea some time next week, so stay tuned.



by Seth Singh Jennings | 24th August 2015

The submission guidelines and referee spreadsheets for The Legal 500 US 2016 are now up and available for download at:

There are several notable changes from last year's guidelines, as well as a number of slight tweaks. I have listed these below, but please do still read all the guidance carefully.

Thank you,

  • One key thing to note is that "Litigation" has been renamed "Dispute resolution".
New sections:
  • International litigation (Dispute resolution chapter) - this specialized area is becoming increasingly significant, and in recognition of this fact we have introduced it as a stand-alone section. We are looking for evidence of complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation work.
  • Commercial deals and contracts (M&A/corporate and commercial) - the focus here is on high-value or otherwise significant commercial agreements, such as supply, distribution, outsourcing, franchising, licensing and joint ventures.
  • Corporate governance (M&A/corporate and commercial) - here we're looking for work relating to the rules and processes companies put in place to balance the competing interests of managers, shareholders and other stakeholders. This may extend to a company's responsibilities towards the wider world, in the form of corporate social responsibility.
Other notable changes:
  • We have changed "Bank lending" to "Commercial lending" and split it into two sections: advice to borrowers and advice to lenders.
  • We have split Supreme Court and appellate into Appellate: Courts of Appeals and Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state).
  • We have split Environment: transaction and regulatory into separate sections.
  • We have split Energy: transactional into separate oil and gas and conventional power sections.
  • We have split Copyright into Copyright: litigation and Copyright: non-contentious, to bring it in line with the other IP sections.
  • Commercial litigation is now General commercial disputes. This is a broader category that encompasses mediation and arbitration.
Name changes:
  • Several of the Dispute resolution sections have been tweaked in an effort to rationalize the chapter.
  • This is also the case with Intellectual property, Finance and Tax chapters.
  • M&A litigation has moved from the M&A chapter to the Dispute resolution chapter.
  • Trade secret litigation has moved from Dispute resolution to Intellectual property.



by Seth Singh Jennings | 20th August 2015

Just to keep you all in the loop - the submission guidelines for The Legal 500 US 2016 will be up on the website on Monday.

Thank you for bearing with us!



by Seth Singh Jennings | 18th August 2015

Just a quick note to say that I am busy working on the new submission guidelines for The Legal 500 US. They should be up on the site within the next week, so stay tuned!




by Seth Singh Jennings | 6th August 2015

It feels a bit weird writing an announcement for myself, but here we go...

I am pleased to announce that Seth Singh Jennings (that's me) is the new editor of The Legal 500 US, replacing former editor Lauren Hughes who left to join Ropes & Gray several months ago.

This is only day three for me, so I'm still acclimatising and bringing myself up to speed, but moving forward I hope to be able to do as sterling a job as my predecessor.

That's it for now, but look out next week for an announcement on submission dates.



by Mike Nash | 16th July 2015

Editors and other staff from The Legal 500 will be at the ACC Annual Meeting in Boston from October 18-21. The team will be happy to meet if you pop by The Legal 500 stand or want to arrange meetings around the event.



by Mike Nash | 6th July 2015

Just a quick follow-up to say that we continue to invite proposals from law firms about practice area coverage that they would like to see being introduced (or modified) in the 2016 edition of The Legal 500 US. In order for proposals to be considered for the upcoming edition, we need to receive them not later than July 27 (please send them to

We promise to review and respond to all suggestions in due course. Thank you to everyone who has already or will make suggestions.



by Mike Nash | 2nd July 2015

Time for the big summertime celebration - we wish everyone a great and enjoyable 4th of July holiday weekend!



by Mike Nash | 2nd July 2015

When I meet law firms, many don't know about The Legal 500 Historical Data service, which is actually a pretty useful little tool that kind of gets lost amidst the sea of data. The Legal 500 Historical Data is an interactive service for law firms providing downloadable online content showing historical rankings from 2008-2015 from The Legal 500 UK, US, EMEA, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Users are able to manipulate the raw data to produce and download reports that can, for example, benchmark law firms with peers and competitors; customise rankings data for use in pitch documents and RFPs; and identify strong candidates for potential new office openings or lateral hires. As editor, I use this data to identify trends and progress in practices across certain markets or practice areas. If you're interested in learning more, please visit



by Mike Nash | 27th May 2015

As we begin to look at planning the 2016 edition of The Legal 500 US, we are inviting proposals from law firms for practice area coverage that they would like to see being introduced. In order to do this most effectively, we recommend that you prepare a Word document detailing the following:

  • the practice area/s you would like to see being introduced
  • the parameters of the practice area/s as you would see it
  • the reasons why you feel these new sections are merited
  • 4 or 5 highlights of this type of work which your law firm has handled in the past 12 months
  • a list of other law firms which are also active in the practice area (usefully including relevant contact details, in case we wish to contact them for their view too)
  • Please email that document to, clearly labelling it as a proposal for new practice areas in the US 2016 edition
We promise to review and respond to all suggestions in due course. Thank you to everyone who has or will make suggestions.



by Mike Nash | 27th May 2015

We are delighted to announce that The Legal 500 US 2016 edition will be launched online and in print on 3 June 2015. All new rankings will be free to view on the relevant pages of


2015 edition is now complete

by Lauren Hughes | 22nd April 2015

Following months of research, writing, editing and proofing, I'm happy to report that the editorial for the 2015 edition of The Legal 500 United States is now complete. It's currently in the safe hands of our production team, ready to go to press on Friday 24th. Thank you very much to all of the law firms who participated in the research - we really appreciate the time taken by marketing and business development staff to get us the information we need, and by the partners who graciously take part in telephone interviews with the researchers. Thank you also to all those who provided feedback and quotes on law firms they've used. The guide is due to be published online on 3rd June 2015. Firms that have been included in this edition will receive an email on that day to inform them about their rankings. If you want your name to be on that mailing list, please drop me a line and I'll arrange that for you. Also around this time, we will be informing firms that have been shortlisted for a Legal 500 award - more news on that to follow.


Corporate Counsel Rising Stars event

by Lauren Hughes | 14th January 2015

Happy 2015! It is now almost a year since we hosted the Corporate Counsel 100 roundtable discussion on in-house innovation, at the fantastic Bouley in New York City. (If you missed it first time round, click HERE) In the time that has passed since, we've gone on to publish the follow-up version of the list, The Corporate Counsel 100 Rising Stars. We're currently planning two related events to be held in April 2015 for those featured on the list: one in New York and one in San Francisco. The aim will be to bring together the best up-and-comers in the business for what we hope will be an equally enlightening discussion as last year's, followed by a champagne reception and dinner to celebrate their achievement. This event will be strictly by invitation only, but we will post the transcript and photographs for you all to see. There will be opportunities for law firms to partner with us on this, so please feel free to contact me if you require further information.


Researcher list has been published

by Lauren Hughes | 1st December 2014

As promised, we have today posted information on who will be researching each section for The Legal 500 United States. Their contact details are on the PDF document HERE so please don't hesitate to reach out them directly to arrange your interview if you have not already heard from them. Their bios are already on the site, HERE.

You will notice that there are a few sections which have not yet been allocated a researcher. I will work to update you as soon as possible but in the meantime please use me as your point of contact for any queries or concerns.

We look forward to working with you all and really appreciate your participation in the process.


GC Magazine soon to launch

by Lauren Hughes | 25th November 2014

By now most of you will have heard about The Legal 500's plans to launch a new magazine for in-house counsel, headed up by Catherine McGregor.

Entitled GC Magazine, it will focus predominantly on the role that in-house counsel play as part of the business, rather than on the purely legal aspects of the job. The first issue is going to press as I write this, and will be out the first week of December. It includes the following features:

  • How to be CEO of you own career: looking at how to keep interested and motivated once you reach the top legal role. Read interviews with leading US-based GCs and leaders of the recent past such as Ben Heineman, formerly of GE, and Tom Sager, formerly of DuPont.
  • What I wish I'd known when I went in-house: tips on how to mange the transition out of private practice from GCs in Asia, Latin America and Europe.
  • Where are the lawyer CEOs?: a call from a leading UK GC for his colleagues to get serious about their career path.
  • A dangerous game of bluff: why in-house lawyers need to show value to the business or risk being outsourced.
  • Whistleblowers and in-house lawyers: looking at questions of ethics and objectivity.

The first issue has over 80 pages of original content by in-house for in-house.

If anyone would like a copy they can email


US 2015 Research

by Lauren Hughes | 18th November 2014

Research for the next edition of the Legal 500 United States will be kicking off very shortly. Tomorrow marks the final deadline for submitting so by now your submissions should almost all be in. It's very important to us to get submissions in on time for various reasons, but particularly as it enables us to sufficiently manage the process of contacting all your references.

On December 1st we'll publish the list of researchers for each individual section and their contact details. Following this, please don't be shy about reaching out to the researchers directly to set up your interview as these will be carried out during December and the early part of January. All firms are entitled to an interview, whether currently ranked or trying to break in to the ranking, so I strongly recommend taking advantage of this. Of course, this only applies to those that have submitted within our required timeframes!

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about our research process.


Atlanta, New Orleans and New York

by Lauren Hughes | 21st October 2014

As always, I want to keep you all up-date with my US travel plans. On Monday 27th October, I'll be visiting law firms in Atlanta. I plan to spend the remainder of that week attending the annual ACC meet-up in New Orleans, the country's largest gathering of in-house counsel and an excellent opportunity for us to engage with our readers directly. I was lucky enough to attend last year's conference, and thought it was fantastic, so am looking forward to this one. I know there will also be a number of law firms in attendance, so please let me know if you are planning to be there. If not, you can still sample some of the soundbites from the sessions, as I'll be posting live blogs on and tweeting some of the highlights. After ACC, I'll be heading to New York where I'll be happy to pay a visit to any law firm that wishes to see me. So as usual, do drop me a line if this is of interest. By the way, in December my intention is to visit Washington DC and Boston, so the same applies here.


The Legal 500 Corporate Counsel Summit, NYC 2014

by Lauren Hughes | 14th October 2014

On Tuesday 23rd September 2014, The Legal 500 hosted a corporate counsel summit in association with Debevoise and Plimpton. The event had three separate parts, so attendees could attend part or all of the event, depending on their availability and preferences. Attendance was free of charge to all in-house counsel. We were delighted to see attendance from a diverse mix of in-house lawyers, from blue-chip companies and major banks, to smaller, more niche organisations. Those attending session 1 all had one thing in common: a need to learn more about how they can protect their companies from the risks associated with big data. At 4pm, Debevoise attorneys Jeremy Feigelson and David Sarratt kicked off with their seminar on this burning issue and how problems can be avoided.

Next up was Karen Dillon, former Harvard Business Review editor and co-author of New York Times bestseller How will you measure your life?. The audience, which was made up of largely the same members as the previous session, was held captive as she explained the ethos of her book, posing thought-provoking questions linking our professional and personal happiness.

The two sessions were followed by dinner and drinks at BV’s grill – conveniently located below the offices of Debevoise and Plimpton – where the attendees continued the discussion in a more informal and relaxed setting alongside more general networking. Many thanks to all who helped make this a successful and enjoyable evening. We hope to repeat the process in another US city soon.



by Lauren Hughes | 7th October 2014

On September 24th, we hosted our inaugural award winners' dinner at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. A big congratulations to all of the winners, and many thanks to those who attended - I hope you enjoyed the evening and made some interesting new connections.

We will be posting the photographs from the night and a copy of the winners' brochure on to the awards section of our site, so watch this space.

I took the opportunity while I was in New York to meet with various law firms there, and I also made it down to Philadelphia for the first time (where I sampled my first-ever Philly cheesesteak!)

It was a most enjoyable two weeks on the East Coast, so I'd like to thank everyone that I met there.

I am planning to visit Atlanta soon, which is another new city for me. If you are based there and would like to set up a meeting for early November, please get in touch.


Submissions - common mistakes

by Lauren Hughes | 4th September 2014

I thought this would be a good time to share some of the common mistakes people make when submitting to the Legal 500 United States, so that you can avoid making these mistakes for the 2015 edition and maximise your firm's chances of getting the ranking it deserves! As ever, please email me directly if you have any questions relating to the below.

Not providing separate submissions for each practice area:

Take, for example, Intellectual property which, incidentally is where this problem most commonly occurs. Let's say you want to be considered for patent litigation: full coverage, copyright, and patent prosecution: utility and design patents - then please provide a separate document for each of these. The chances are that there will be different researchers for each, so you would be doing the firm a disservice by burying those work highlights among others that won't necessarily be relevant for the researcher reading it.

Sending in a submission that is not tailored for the Legal 500

Sometimes we receive pleas to 'rank' certain individual attorneys - but the Legal 500 does not rank attorneys. It ranks teams. Therefore, your submission should demonstrate the quality of the group as a whole, instead of focusing on the credentials of certain individuals. We do highlight leading lawyers, but only for really exceptional, standout individuals, and even then we do not 'rank' them in order of importance, we simply list them.

Long, boring lists of deals

Less is definitely more. Rather than listing 50 deals with a one-line explanation for each, we'd much prefer you to pick out ten really good ones accompanied by a detailed explanation as to what made each one special.

Including lengthy bios for each attorney

As to the point above, our focus is less on the individual, and more on the team. So while you should certainly details such as the names of key attorneys and their location, the bio is unnecessary. If we need to read that we will look at your website.

Submitting when you shouldn't

I always advise firms to start by looking at our current bottom tier before submitting. If you can honestly say that your group is on a par with those currently ranked, then by all means do submit. But if it isn't, then don't.

Not asking for feedback

I am happy to provide this. If your firm has been trying and failing to get ranked, then why not ask the question? You have nothing to lose!


Submission guidelines for 2015: what's new?

by Lauren Hughes | 26th August 2014

If you are submitting for The Legal 500 United States 2015, please pay careful attention to the updates below. Some are minor tweaks, some are whole new chapters. All changes been made as a response to overwhelming market feedback on how we can best serve our corporate counsel readership. Please also read the PDF guidelines and FAQs, and do contact me directly if you have any queries that are not answered within these documents.


For 2015, antitrust has been give chapter title status, and you should send separate submissions for each of the three new antitrust sections you wish to be considered for. (The main antitrust section used to exist under the M&A umbrella, and with plaintiff class actions covered under the litigation chapter - but these have both now been removed from those chapters).


Government has been introduced as a brand new chapter, and it's something we've not previously covered. There are two sub-sections: government relations, and government contracts. As usual, we will not be publishing practice area definitions but rather will assess the market based on the evidence provided to us by firms. Again, please send separate submissions if you are submitting for both.

Investment fund formation and management

The Real estate investment funds (REITs) section will remain unchanged, but it has moved to a new home - it will feature under the 'Real estate and construction' chapter for 2015. So if you are submitting for this category, the only change you need to remember is the title.


Until now, our litigation chapter has covered various different niches that fall under this umbrella, but we have not included a general commercial litigation ranking until now. If you are considering submitting for this new section, please bear in mind that the Legal 500 focuses on 'elite only', so you must have a nationally recognized practice in order to be considered.


The previously entitled 'Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts' section has been renamed 'M&A/corporate and commercial' to reflect the true scope of what is covered within this chapter. The biggest change, however, is the merging of the 'M&A mega-deals' and 'M&A large deals' tables. The newly combined table will be larger and more competitive than before.

Real estate and construction

As noted above, this chapter will also include 'REITs'.


Domestic tax will be covered in one single national ranking. This means merging the former East Coast, West Coast and Central tables into one, hence making this a more competitve category than before.


Leading trial lawyers

by Lauren Hughes | 20th August 2014

So the latest guidelines have gone up and you'll have noted there are various changes to the categories. Over the next few weeks I'll write a series of posts advising on best practices for submitting to these. But first off, I wanted to turn the spotlight onto one of our most competitve categories, for which we routinely receive a high volume of submissions. Please note that the leading trial lawyers section is not actually undergoing any changes this year. It's a unique section in that it is the only one where we look at individual lawyers, rather than teams within a law firm. Getting onto this list is far from easy. As with the rest of the guide, the focus is on the 'elite'. This means we have to reject a vast number of submissions in order to keep the list exclusive. If you work in marketing for a law firm, please consider the following before sending us your submission to the Leading trial lawyers category:

  1. It's not advisable to send a submission for multiple different attorneys at the firm. The likelihood of all of them being ranked is slim, and it only makes it more difficult for each one to stand out from the crowd. Better to submit just one attorney, focusing all eforts on achieving a ranking for that individual.
  2. Remember how competitive this category is. Read what we've written about the those currently ranked. Has this lawyer tried cases that are high-profile/cutting-edge enough to compete?
  3. Consider the level of experience. The more experience they have, the better their chances of being ranked.


Corporate Counsel Summit in New York

by Lauren Hughes | 5th August 2014

On Tuesday September 23rd, The Legal 500 will be in New York City to host a series of three workshops, which are free for all in-house counsel to attend. The format of the event is as follows:

  • A workshop on business/management theory applied to in-house departments, presented by Karen Dillon, co-author of How Will You Measure Your Life and former Harvard Business Review editor
  • A practical workshop on managing risk in data and privacy for companies of all sizes in the wake of recent data breaches and new EU legislation on privacy.
  • Informal networking dinner with in-house peers.

Attendees may register for any or all of these. Further details can be found HERE (please click link).

Many thanks to Debevoise & Plimpton for sponsoring this event.


Back to London

by Lauren Hughes | 29th July 2014

I've just returned from a fantastic three-week tour of the US, where I visited the West Coast and the Midwest. I had the pleasure of visiting lots of law firms and some of our in-house readers, so I'd like to express my gratitude to everyone who welcomed me. Am happy to report that the feedbackon the latest edition of the book was very positive. I also enjoyed meeting lots of legal marketers at the LMA LA chapter Summer Soiree, and at the 'Inside the Legal 500' event for Legal PR Chicago. I also managed to do some sightseeing and enjoyed immersing myself in American culture: highlights included walking the Golden Gate Bridge, the Chicago architectural tour, listening to live blues music and watching the Cubs play San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field. However I have to confess that having spent three weeks out of the office, I am now a little behind on my email. So if you are waiitng to hear back from me with a feedback or other request, please accept my apologies for the delay. I promise I will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible! Thank you for your patience.


Calling all law firm marketers in the Mid-West

by Lauren Hughes | 17th July 2014

Next week I will be visiting Chicago to speak about the Legal 500 submission process. The talk, which will take place at lunchtime on Tuesday 22nd, has been organised by Kate Slaasted and Legal PR Chicago. It will be held at Kirkland and Ellis' offices, and you can find all the details you need here:

I hope to see many of you there and look forward to answering your questions.


Corporate Counsel 100 Rising Stars

by Lauren Hughes | 1st July 2014

We have extended the deadline for nominating in-house counsel until 15th July. The nomination form is quick and simple: all we ask for is a brief explanation in less than 500 words. If we decide to select your nominee, not only will they be very grateful(!), but we may also quote you in the text about them, with your permission of course.

You don't necessarily have to be a law firm lawyer to nominate either. We welcome suggestions from any professional who has had experience of in-house lawyers. You may even be one yourself.

Research is being carried out by Julia Ross, so please do drop her a line if you have any questions.


For law firms: the new edition is live and you’ve reviewed the results – what now?

by Lauren Hughes | 25th June 2014

I welcome your feedback and comments on the latest edition. However, if you have a specific request relating to the rankings or editorial, please email the central email address at, so that it can be dealt with in the most efficient manner.

If your firm has been ranked – congratulations! Make sure you let all your clients know by downloading a logo for free here:

Don’t forget to publicise your achievement on social media too.


The Legal 500 US: coming to a city near you?

by Lauren Hughes | 12th June 2014

Having spent the last few months editing the latest edition here in London, I’m looking forward to getting out on the road again from this month onwards. I’ll be visiting many cities across the US in order to meet partners and business development professionals from the firms featured in the editorial. Please do let me know if you’d like me to come in and speak to your firm about the Legal 500 process and to hear from individual practice heads. My schedule is as follows:

  • July: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago
  • August: TBC
  • September: New York
  • October: Atlanta, New Orleans (ACC meeting), Houston (tbc)
  • November: TBC
  • December: TBC
  • January: Los Angeles (Marketing Partner Forum)


The Legal 500 United States Awards

by Lauren Hughes | 5th June 2014

Recognising both law firms and in-house counsel, the shortlist for the first ever Legal 500 awards in the US has now been published (HERE). These are the teams and individuals who caught our researchers’ attention the most during the latest research period, and so are based entirely on merit alone. We will be hosting an exclusive winners’ only dinner in New York City this September. Remember to check back here on July 2nd to find out who made the final selection.



by Lauren Hughes | 28th May 2014

You may have noticed that some law firm profiles now include diversity statements alongside the usual bios. Why did we start doing this? Well, the idea came about as a result of feedback from corporate counsel, particularly during the research for the first issue of the Corporate Counsel 100 series. The undeniable truth is, that a majority of buyers of legal services in the United States really do want to know that the law firms they are using are doing their bit to ensure equality for all. By including this tab on our site, we are simply responding to the demands of our core readership. Watch this space for more diversity initiatives from the Legal 500.


Ask the Editor

by Lauren Hughes | 21st May 2014

Every month, I’ll be answering your questions via this blog. If you have a burning question you’d like me to feature next month, please email me at, putting “Ask the editor” in the subject line. To kick things off, here are four that I am frequently asked…

What makes someone a leading lawyer?

A leading lawyer is someone who is at the very top of the profession – universally recognised by peers and clients alike as a leader in their field, with an undeniable track record. Often they are also viewed as ‘thought leaders’ ie taking on regular speaking engagements, writing articles, and/or generally immersing themselves in the practice area.

Our clients are tired of providing references. What can we do and how will this impact our position in the Legal 500?

Unlike some other research guides, the Legal 500 does not rely on hearsay alone. So if you are able to provide strong evidence in your submission, then you should not be unduly worried. That said, it is always preferable to have some feedback to support your submission. So if you want to give your usual referees a break, consider asking somebody more junior within that team rather than the GC. You may also wish to ask a lawyer from another law firm to provide a reference, or another professional third party such as an accountant/surveyor etc. We welcome feedback from a range of different sources!

What is the protocol regarding interviews with practice heads?

Every firm that is ranked, or submitting to be ranked, is entitled to an interview with our research team. Provided you get your submission in on time that is! It’s advisable to avail of this, as the attorney interviews can play a vital role in bringing out the key points covered in the submission, and our researchers really value the market insights they can provide. We publish the researcher contact details just before research kicks off, so rather than wait for them to contact you, feel free to reach out to them and get those interviews into the diary as early in the process as possible.

Should I include other awards and rankings in our submission?

No. We only rely on research that we’ve conducted ourselves!


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