The Legal 500’s UK research process is now underway in London. We caught up with Legal 500 UK editor Alex Boyes for a quick run-down of what’s new for this year in London. Most notable among these being significantly expanded editorial coverage of all ranked firms. Alex also provides a reminder of key things firms should be doing to ensure their references respond to Legal 500’s researchers.
The Legal 500 London research is about to begin, with the regional research having concluded. Is the London content also being expanded this year, and what is the rationale behind the change?
Yes, that’s correct. This year, we’re undertaking a large-scale expansion of our UK Solicitors editorial content. The aim of this expansion is to enable researchers to utilise the significant amount of information obtained through the submission/interview process more effectively, conveying more of the key strengths of a practice and highlighting the success stories of that year.
In previous years, researchers have had to boil down sizeable chunks of data into very small editorial descriptions of firms and their practices, primarily due to the constraints of producing hard copies. In many instances, firms in the bottom tiers of our tables received no editorial at all. This will no longer be the case – all ranked firms will now receive editorial. We will still be publishing a print version this year, however our website will feature significantly expanded content, which in turn should enable our readers to make more informed buying decisions.
Are there any other significant changes to be aware of?
We’ve introduced some new sections this year, under our Risk Advisory category. Our Brexit section will highlight firms that are devising solutions to the myriad issues arising from our impending exit from the EU, whether working at a public policy level to shape the government’s strategy for Brexit, or assisting private clients with managing operational risk as a result of Brexit. Our Corporate Governance section will cover work carried out by firms that relates to the system of rules, practices and process by which a company is directed and controlled, and by which are balanced the interests of a company’s stakeholders, including its shareholders, management, consumers, suppliers, financiers, government. The section will also cover advisory work relating to UK and international governance regulations. Lastly, this area will also cover advisory work on the operations of executive boards, D&O responsibilities and shareholder relations, as well as internal investigations of wrongdoing.
We are also introducing a new TMT section for Fintech, which will cover work for start-up firms in this space, as well as advice to investors into the firms, whether through VC funds or financial institutions themselves through their incubator programmes. Work covered includes advice on corporate structuring/contractual agreements with procurers of these services, to related IP, financial services regulatory and disputes.
We know submissions are in already, but what are some of the key things law firms could and should be doing at this stage of the process, that they tend to forget?
Firstly, don’t be afraid to reach out to the researchers with updates to the submission. Keeping us up to speed on new pieces of work or noteworthy additions to the team is always helpful.
Secondly, make sure your referees are looking out for our feedback requests and responding to them. Here’s a breakdown of when we will be reaching out to your referees:
- Referees received on or by 3rd March will be contacted via email during the week commencing 15th May 2017
- Referees received between 4th and 17th March will be contacted via email during the week commencing 22nd May 2017
And finally, feel free to reach out to researchers to make sure they have everything they need, or if you would like to arrange an interview. The list of researchers for London can be found here.