13 May 2021

How can your firm be selected for the Chambers Global Guide?


Steps for your law firm to be eligible for the Chambers Global Guide in 2021

There are several different categories of inclusion in the Global Guide which have their own requirements.

Firstly there are rankings on a local jurisdictional level - the Global Guide includes rankings across 200 jurisdictions around the world. Those jurisdictions that have their own dedicated Chambers Guides, for example the Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, Latin-American, UK and USA, do not need to present any additional documentation. Instead these ranking tend to mirror the rankings in the local guides for those practice areas we deem as the most important on a global level. 

For those jurisdictions that do not fall under the remit of these guides namely those in Africa, the Middle-East, Offshore and the Caribbean, firms are encouraged to provide submission documents and reference forms for the relevant practice areas they wish to be considered. This research is headed up my colleague, Joanna Lane (joanna.lane@chambers.com) and her team of three Deputy Editors and ten researchers, who speak a range of languages and come from a mix of professional backgrounds.

The submission document is where the firm can outline the strengths of its department for this practice area, nominate any practitioners they believe warrant inclusion and provide up to twenty examples of recent work highlights. The reference form is where firms can provide up to twenty names of those who have had recent experience in working closely with the firm and its lawyers. These tend to be clients of the firm but also can be other legal practitioners outside of the firm. These individuals will then be contacted by the relevant Chambers’ researcher during the course of their research. 

The deadlines for these documents vary depending on the jurisdiction and the practice area in question, but all can be found on our online research schedule

Secondly there are also rankings on a global level. This includes 34 practice areas which previously all came under the title of Global-wide, but this year we have renamed a selection of these practice areas as Global Market Leaders. This research is handled by the Global: International Capabilities Team, consisting of myself and four highly experienced researchers.

For those practice areas that remain under the Global-wide category, these tend to be extensively covered by our local jurisdictional research, which I have mentioned above, and so we have a wealth of submission information, market commentary and reference feedback to draw on. Therefore no additional documentation is necessary to be considered for this category, but firms do tend to be ranked in several local jurisdictions to gain a ranking in this category.

However, the Global Market Leaders categories identify truly specialist firms that are heavily involved in what might be better described as niche, but highly influential parts of the international market, such as Climate Change and Business & Human Rights, and as they are more exclusive to the Global Guide are still open to submissions and references. This is also where you can find our Law Firm Networks rankings.

Thirdly, there are also the International & Cross-Border Capabilities categories, which were first introduced to the 2020 Global Guide and now encompasses 69 practice areas across 37 jurisdictions. This also falls under the remit of my team and these are the markets we have identified as being the most important hubs for international work. These categories are not open to submissions and reference documents, but we can again draw on all the relevant research and insight gathered on a local jurisdictional level. My experienced team of researchers also conducts additional in-depth interviews with a cross-sections of leading firm and practitioners in each market. By identifying and assessing firms strengths and strategies when it comes to complex multijurisdictional issues, this research aims to provide readers with a trusted overview of the law firms best placed to advise on international matters in each market.

So in summary, with the exception of the Global Market Leaders category where firms are encouraged to provide detailed submissions and references, the first step to be eligible for inclusion in the Global Guide is to submit directly for your local jurisdiction, whether that be under other Chambers Guides or for the jurisdictions that fall under the remit of the Global Guide and Joanna Lane’s team. Where appropriate, it is worth including examples for international & cross-border work on these submissions and if possible, including references who can discuss a firm’s strength in this regard as well as that local jurisdiction.


Chambers Global Guide 2Source: Freepik


Elements that Chambers team take into account to select the law firms and lawyers to be included in the Global Guide

As outlined above this does somewhat depend on what the nature of the ranking category is.

For local jurisdiction rankings, the firms and practitioners wanting to be included need to demonstrate the particular strengths needed to handle complex work in that particular market, which can be showcased through impressive work highlights, reference feedback and market commentary. As what this entails can change depending on the jurisdiction and practice area, our research also explores what expertise and skills client require in each market. As mentioned above, firms can submit directly to the Africa, the Middle-East, Offshore and the Caribbean jurisdictions and can submit directly to the relevant local Chambers guide for the rest.

The same factors are taking into consideration for the Global Market Leaders rankings, with the distinction being that firms need to showcase they are acting as leaders in these complex international markets. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to have offices around the world but that they can demonstrate acting on the most important and significant global mandates, for an impressive roster of leading clients in that space.  

For the Global-wide category however, there is a greater emphasis on a firm’s geographical presence in the key markets and the number of jurisdictions a firm is ranked in for that practice area across all of the relevant Chambers guides. This helps us identify who is best placed to handle multi-jurisdictional matters for these practice areas. This category does not include rankings for lawyers.

The International & Cross-Border research also tends to only include rankings for firms and not lawyers. This category focuses on the drivers of cross-border work in a given market. Our approach is underlined by an understanding that the practice areas and sectors that generate high levels of cross-border activity may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and as such we pay close attention to the different strategies employed by law firms in a given market. It is important to bear in mind that Chambers does not necessarily view one strategy as inherently more effective than another, but firms included in this category are those our research shows have the capability to handle complex, cross-border and international mandates for that jurisdiction.

Our challenge each year is to continue to accurately reflect the nature of ever changing markets on a local, regional and global level. But through our in-depth research conducted by our dedicated and experienced team, as well as working closely with all of the other Chambers research teams and drawing on all the information provided by firms, we are able to develop and extend our coverage where necessary to do so. 

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