10 October 2018

Legal directories criticised by law practitioners

The legal market is demanding that legal directories are made more accessible and transparent, especially as researchers make judgements.

A research survey conducted with lawyers and business development professionals in all global regions by MD Communications shows there is a demand for legal directories to be more transparent and for their researchers and editors to be more easily accessible.

Key findings

The survey, published as a white paper entitled ‘Legal directories: are they keeping pace in a connected world?’, also confirmed the widespread use of the directories, especially in cross-border instructions. Among the other findings is dissatisfaction from more than half of firms and barristers chambers with their ranking (56 per cent), which is a concern as a clear majority felt a ranking and mention boosted their chances in international instructions (80 per cent). The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners were seen as the lead innovators.The survey also claimed that categories for the Bar need reviewing for accuracy with research quality only judged ‘average. Less than half (45 per cent) of general counsel review rankings as part of the process of selecting external legal advisers.

More scrutiny

Melissa Davis, managing director of MD Communications, said of the findings:  ‘From gender pay to financial reporting, the legal sector is subject to more demands on transparency and scrutiny than ever before. In that sense, the directories were ahead of their time. Working with them remains worth the effort.’ Ms Davis added, ‘but the legal market wants that scrutiny to be two-way, and responded to our research in that spirit. If the directories listen to and act on what’s said here, then their way of assessing the market, which is unique in professional services, has a sustainable future. That is a good thing.’ The report can be obtain here.