The rankings and editorial comment about lawyers are independent and objective. Inclusion in this section of the guide is based solely on the research team's findings. No-one can buy their way in.
Our methodology for the research into the strengths and reputations of law firms and individuals has been approved by the British Market Research Bureau.
We speak to a vast range of lawyers and their clients (i.e. commercial users of legal services). Greater weighting is given to the views of the clients, and any biased viewpoints tend to cancel each other out. All interviews are conducted purely for research purposes and are entirely confidential and unattributed.
We select our sources on the basis of:
- - submissions put forward by legal practices
- - interviews during the course of research
- - our own database resources.
Thousands of interviews are conducted by a team of over 140 full-time researchers. Unlike our competitors, Chambers researches, compiles and launches completely new editions of our directories each year.
Law firms and individual lawyers are ranked in bands from 1-6, with 1 being the best. The qualities on which rankings are assessed include technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by the client.
Foreign Experts / Foreign Desks
Foreign Experts and Foreign Desks are individuals or teams of individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals and teams are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise. For example, a lawyer based in the UK may have an in-depth knowledge of China. He would appear in the UK as a Foreign Expert for China, while in China he would be identified as a Foreign Expert with Chinese expertise based in the UK.
In addition, there are further categories in which lawyers can be ranked as exceptional individuals. A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success. A 'Star' ranking is given to lawyers with exceptional recommendations in their field.
Up-and-Coming, Star Associate, and Associates-to-Watch
Two additional bands list those who are at the forefront of their generation but who do not yet warrant inclusion in the tables. The 'Up and Coming' band lists those who do not yet have an established reputation but who are driving their firm's growth. 'Associates to Watch' are senior associates who are recognised for their work in the background of major deals. 'Star Associate' is awarded to an associate who consistently demonstrates an outstanding degree of technical and commercial expertise beyond that of their peers.
Silks and Juniors
In the UK, Barristers are divided into 'Leading Silks' and 'Leading Juniors'. Leading juniors who have since taken silk appear banded under 'New Silks'.
Firms and individuals are ranked in bands (where they are listed alphabetically).