Feedback: the unsung hero of the directories process

Hot on the heels of the recent Legal 500 results, the Chambers UK 2018 rankings are due to be released on Wednesday 1st November. While many firms will celebrate good news stories through Twitter and joyous press releases, there will be firms less keen to herald their results.

Of the 221 lawyers and business development professionals who participated in the research for our white paper ‘Legal directories: are they still relevant?’, more than half believe they don’t get the rankings they deserve. For these firms, it may be tempting to bury the experience but rather than despairing of the entire process, follow up and seek feedback.

The firms participating in our research commonly spoke of the significant amount of time and resource required, and the pressure on both lawyers and support teams who commit to the directories process. This is not a surprise. What is surprising, is the number of firms that don’t follow up when they fail to achieve the team or individual rankings they believe they deserve.

60% of the GCs we interviewed for the white paper said they reviewed directory rankings when selecting legal advisers and 54% of law firms said that potential clients had mentioned their directory rankings. With this at stake, you want to give yourself the best chance of achieving your target ranking.

Chambers provides feedback through its standard or premium-level Chambers Unpublished reports. The reports will help firms to understand the basis of their team and individual rankings. Very simply with The Legal 500, you can email them and ask for feedback.

Here are a few tips for getting the information you need:

  • Review the editorial for the firms that made it into your target band and take an objective view on whether your team belongs with them, or indeed above.
  • Ask focused questions. If you believe your team merits a higher ranking, tell the researcher why, based on evidence and make relevant comparisons to other firms. This will ensure that you get focused, fact-based responses that you can build on.
  • Find out what the rate of response from your referees was. Often, a poor response is a major factor in an unexpectedly low ranking. If this is the case, manage the referee process the next time round. Make sure partners seek consent to include referees and stay in touch with them throughout the process so they know what they need to do and when they need to do it.

By seeking feedback when you don’t achieve your target ranking you will find out your weak spots, which means that your next round of submissions will be better informed and stronger.

If you’d like any support with your directories submissions, whether you’re already ranked or looking to be, our expert team can help.

To obtain a copy of the white paper Legal Directories: Are they still relevant?, or a copy of our UK directories guide, please email

About us

MD Communications are experts at boosting the reputation of law firms and suppliers to the legal sector- whether that’s enhancing your legal directory submissionsraising your profile in the media, or improving your social media presence.

Melissa Davis is the managing director of MD Communications, the international legal PR agency.

She is also chair of the IBA Law Firm Management Committee Business Development Working Group and a member of the ABA Transnational Legal Practice Committee.

MD Communications is on Twitter @mdcomms

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