Research is vital tool to understanding market

David Kelly, editor of the Legal 500
David Kelly, editor of the Legal 500
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The Legal 500 United Kingdom has developed into the largest and most in-depth survey of the UK legal market.

First published in 1988, this is the 26th edition of the publication, which analyses the practices of more than 1,000 law firms, and more than 220 sets of barristers’ chambers and Scottish stables.

The Legal 500 is a unique series. There are other surveys of law firms and chambers, but none is researched and written by such a team of experienced and award-winning writers.

Researchers also work on sister Legalease publications such as Legal Business. Many researchers have years of experience, a valuable quality in an increasingly complex marketplace.

Understanding the firms is only one aspect of the research process. Ultimately, it is the clients’ opinions that matter; the 250,000 or so references taken up are a vital component of our evaluation of the various legal markets covered by The Legal 500.

More than 18,000 copies of The Legal 500 United Kingdom are distributed free every year, although many clients are now increasingly turning to our website (, which has 300,000 users per month and four million visits each year.

We also publish The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, The Legal 500 United States, The Legal 500 Latin America, and The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa, covering over 110 different jurisdictions.

Our findings are seen by a huge range of clients, not only international businesses and FTSE companies.

In 2011, more than100 local newspapers and trade titles covered The Legal 500 United Kingdom’s findings, with circulation over 3.9 million, and a readership of more than 10 million.

The Legal 500 United Kingdom is primarily a reference tool for buyers of legal services.

Law firms will also find much here of interest, be it an independent appraisal of their standing in the market, or an insight into the competition.

Our assessment will be influenced by all the things that make the complete practice in that field.

We would like to extend our thanks to all the lawyers, marketing professionals and clients who assisted with our research.