Methodology and Chambers rankings
Clients and firms across many practice areas and geographies have trusted Chambers' research for nearly 30 years.
- -Our independent research collects information about:
- -The marketplace
The London-based team, 200+ researchers, conducts thousands of interviews in 20+ languages.
Chambers collects the information by phone and email interviews.
All managed by a cohesive team of editors with:
- -in-depth knowledge of the marketplace
- -research experience
Firms of all sizes can benefit from a Chambers ranking
Chambers identifies the best law firms globally, whether they are multi-national or boutique.
We have evolved our process to accommodate as many top small and boutique firms for ranking consideration as possible.
To ensure that our interviews reflect client feedback, we do allow all firms to provide us with submissions.
What does Chambers assess?
Technical Legal Ability: expertise and experience specific to the practice area and jurisdiction
- -Clear business language
- -Decisive opinions
Commercial vision and business understanding:
- -Awareness of the importance of these matters to a client’s business
- -Understanding of the future direction of their industry
- -Rigorous attention to detail
- -Standards of professional conduct
- -Service levels and support the growth strategies of their clients
Value for Money:
- -Efficient staffing
- -Organisation and innovation to save clients time and money
Depth of team: ensuring strong support at all levels
We rank lawyers and law firms on several factors and considerations, all of which are investigated by our research team. They are employed full-time in our central London office and work throughout the year contacting lawyers and clients direct by telephone and email.
A law firm ranking relates to a department of the firm, not to the firm as a whole.
Where a firm has several departments specialising in different areas of law, we may rank some departments and not others. A ranking will only apply to a law firm as a whole where the firm specialises in just one practice area.
Individual lawyers are ranked in their practice-area(s) on the basis of their legal knowledge and experience, their ability, their effectiveness and their client-service.
Law-firm departments are ranked on the qualities of their lawyers as above. In addition, we consider the effectiveness and capability of the department as a whole - its strength and depth. Please note that an individual lawyer can be ranked while their law firm is not.
These factors and considerations are judged by:
(a) interviews with those active in the market - mainly clients and other lawyers with whom they work
(b) assessing recent work done
Researchers, deputy editors and editors conduct internal meetings to analyse the research conducted and compile and finalise the ranking tables.
Chambers ratings explained
Law firms and individual lawyers are ranked in bands from 1 (highest)-6 (lowest) and being ranked in any band is a sign achievement. The qualities on which rankings are assessed include:
- -Technical legal ability
- -Professional conduct
- -Client service
- -Commercial astuteness
- -Other qualities most valued by the client (for further description of these please see methodology above)
Foreign Experts / Foreign Desks
Foreign Experts and Foreign Desks are individuals or teams with expertise in a different jurisdiction from where they are based. 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. They 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.
Senior Statesperson, Star and Eminent Practitioners
In addition, there are further categories in which lawyers can be ranked as exceptional individuals:
- -'Senior Statesperson': 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.
- -'Star': ranking is given to lawyers with exceptional recommendations in their field.
- -'Eminent Practitioners': highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in fee-earning work but remain key players in the team.
Other Noted Practitioner
An 'Other Noted Practitioner' handles notable matters and / or has received some recommendation during the course of our research. However, they have not received a sufficiently high level of sustained recommendation to be included in the printed version of the Chambers guide. Instead, the 'Other Noted Practitioner' category shows that these individuals are on our research radar.
'Other Noted Practitioners' do not receive independent editorial comment, but they are able to provide a biography for our website.
Up-and-Coming, Star Associate, and Associate-to-Watch
Three additional bands list those who are at the forefront of their generation but who do not yet warrant inclusion in the tables:
- -'Up and Coming': lists those who do not yet have an established reputation but who are driving their firm's growth.
- -'Associates to Watch': senior associates who are recognised for their work in the background of major deals.
- -'Star Associate': 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'.
A 'Spotlight' ranking is given to firms or individuals where the table does not have numerical rankings. All 'Spotlight' rankings are equal to each other on the same table, and the ranking serves to highlight a select group of firms or individuals.
These rankings are most commonly used for 'Foreign Experts/Foreign Desks'.
^ Return to Top