Welcome to Benchmark Litigation Canada – the definitive guide to Canada's leading litigation law firms and lawyers.
Benchmark Canada was spawned by Benchmark Litigation, the only publication on the market to focus exclusively on litigation in the US. Since its inception, the Benchmark brand has grown dramatically and garnered industry-wide accolades as the definitive hub for in-depth analysis of the players shaping the dynamic practice of litigation. In keeping with Benchmark’s sharp rise in popularity, its publishing staff increasingly aims to respond to the demands of its audience.
One notable stream of feedback we received was that while Benchmark Litigation was considered a go-to reference for US litigators, there was no forum offered by anyone that provided Benchmark’s level of analysis regarding litigators conducting work in Canada, where business entities are increasingly finding themselves involved in disputes. As a response, we developed Benchmark Canada to satisfy that demand.
Research is conducted through extensive interviews with litigators, dispute resolution specialists and their clients to identify the leading litigators and firms. During these interviews, we examine recent casework handled by law firms and ask individual litigators to provide their professional opinions on peers and practitioners within their jurisdiction or practice area.
Why take part?
In an effort to provide the most accurate and comprehensive coverage of the Canadian litigation market, we have taken a two-fold approach to our research.
The national section of our guide identifies eight select firms and attorneys who have displayed the ability to consistently handle complex, high-stakes cases in multiple jurisdictions. These selections are consistently recommended within the Canadian business and legal communities for the quality of their litigation professionals and trial work.
Additionally, we have identified individual litigators who were noted as having strength in a particular practice area – either exclusively or as a specialty component of their general practice. These practice areas include intellectual property, insurance, securities, competition, class actions, insolvency, medical/health law, product liability, arbitration (encompassing international as well as domestic arbitration), white-collar crime/constitutional/inquiries, and the uniquely Canadian practices of energy/resources law and Aboriginal law.
Regional and local expertise is also a crucial factor in commercial litigation, and in the second section of the guide we identify the leading litigation firms and partners in each of the major Canadian provinces. Each province chapter includes:
Rankings of the top local litigation firms
We divided the firms in each local market into “highly recommended” and “recommended” categories. All listed firms were consistently mentioned by peers and clients, but the “highly recommended” firms received the most mentions, and were held as dominant in their particular jurisdiction.
Rankings of the top local litigation stars
The list of “local litigation stars” for each state reflects only those individuals who were recommended consistently as reputable and effective litigators by clients and peers.
Editorials on every ranked firm
We have made every effort to offer in-depth coverage of the ranked firms. In some cases, however, we were not able to provide editorial content for every ranked firm due to a lack of participation or available information.
Recommendations are based on interviews with the nation’s leading private practice lawyers and in-house counsel. These interviews were conducted between October and January. Firms cannot pay to be recommended for the guide. Instead, firms have been independently offered the opportunity to take a professional listing regardless of editorial content.
Litigation Stars and Future Stars
Alongside our firm rankings we also recognise the work of outstanding individuals. Our recommendations are based on the same three factors as our law firm rankings and consist of the following categories:
Lawyers who are highly regarded by their peers and possess a strong case record and positive client feedback.
'Ones to watch' these are lawyers who are building their reputations in the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Benchmark differ from Chambers or other competitors?
Benchmark focuses exclusively on dispute resolution and litigation. This allows us to provide a much more in-depth analysis of the market. Benchmark is also editorially driven, rather than statistically driven, and strives to avoid being over-inclusive. We aim to cover only firms and litigators that are of an elite status.
How much influence do we have over our ratings vs. the external market?
Firms are encouraged to tell their story via our research form and through interviews. We then measure the firm’s input against the feedback we receive via studying the market. If our studies are in harmony with the firm’s assertions, we weight them equally. If there is an extreme disparity between the firm’s views and a pronounced percentage of the market, we will provide greater weight to the market consensus.
If we participate, are we guaranteed to get rated and/or have commentary?
All firms who submit and can prove they are doing notable work in the relevant practice areas will receive some form of editorial coverage, however we do not guarantee rankings or lawyer ratings.
Should we list confidential cases/clients? How do we ensure these remain confidential?
You can provide confidential clients/cases if you feel we should be aware of these, and we will certainly be respectful of confidential agreements – please mark confidential information clearly.
When/how do you contact client referees?
We contact all client referees provided to us via email and invite them to take part in an online client survey. The survey asks clients about the firms they use, why they use them, what they use them for and how long they have been using them. The information provided by clients is confidential though we do publish non-attributed client quotes in the guide.
Do you only rate those of partner level?
We’re a small boutique firm – what chance do we stand against the big brand name firms in your ratings?
Because Benchmark focuses exclusively on disputes, which is often the focus for specialist firms in the market, smaller firms stand a very good chance of being just as highly rated as large corporate firms, and in some cases even more highly rated.
How do we get an in-person interview?
In-person interviews are welcomed. Simply contact us and request one, and, depending on the schedule flexibility of our researchers, we can arrange one.
Should I wait until the firm questionnaire is complete before scheduling partner interviews?
There is no need to wait, as the interviews are not about going through the submission again. Interviews allow lawyers to tell our researchers their stories in general personal summary form, and provide us with the feedback that we require regarding peer review, market trends, in-house counsel references, etc.
Can I review my firm’s editorial in advance of press and suggest changes to it?
No. Firms cannot be allowed to view their editorials prior to press, and are never allowed to have their own input into how they read.
What is the readership of Benchmark Canada?
The readers of Benchmark include law firms and buyers of legal services/in-house counsel.
Is Benchmark "pay-to-play?" If I don’t support the project financially do I still get rated?
Benchmark is absolutely not "pay-to-play." Firms cannot pay to appear in the guide, and can only be rated if the market deems them worthy of consideration.
I have a question that’s not answered here. Can I contact anyone to ask it?
Editor, Michael Rafalowich at firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Development, Rebecca Synott at email@example.com