PLEASE NOTE - WHILE THERE HAS BEEN NO PLAN TO FORMALLY MOVE THE QUESTIONNAIRE DEADLINE (IN TIMELINE BELOW), WE WILL BE GRANTING EXTENSIONS AS NEEDED ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS. PLEASE CONTACT BENCHMARK EDITOR MICHAEL RAFALOWICH AT MRAFALOWICH@EUROMONEYNY.COM FOR FURTHER DETAILS. THANK YOU AND STAY SAFE!
The Benchmark Litigation 2021 research cycle has officially commenced. Please find a link to the official firm questionnaire, as well as a full timeline, below.
In the United States we also conduct research into specific areas of the American disputes market, specifically Benchmark California, Benchmark Labor and Empoyment, Benchmark 40 and Under Hotlist and Benchmark Top 250 Women in Litigation.
To take part in our research simply:
For each jurisdiction, you only need to submit ONE Research form covering all areas of litigation work, however If you wish, you can provide additional information/documents and case highlights for individual litigation practice area categories in support of your main submission.
Listen to our 2021 research webinar and download the presentation PowerPoint HERE for a thorough explanation of the research process.
Our Lawyer Survey is a quick and easy way for lawyers to tell us about their practice and promote their credentials. It is a key factor in helping us determine our litigation stars list of lawyers. Lawyers can also provide feedback on our existing lists of ranked firms and individuals.
The survey is open to all disputes lawyers and you can take it by clicking the link below
Alongside our main US coverage we also produce standalone guides looking at specific disputes practice areas and specific states.
The objective of this research is to offer a more comprehensive and nuanced examination of the California litigation and disputes market, including offering a closer look at the channels that are driving the work in this specific market, as well a deeper dive into uncovering the firms and individuals servicing this work.
To take part simply follow the steps outlined above for our main US research making sure to select 'California' where prompted in our online form to make a California specific submission.
You can submit for both California and for our nationwide US research, but please submit seperately for each if you wish to do so.
Benchmark Labor & Employment
Owing to a rising chorus of demand from practitioners, in 2018 the Benchmark team set out to find the best and brightest law firms and partners who stand out in their labor and employment practices throughout the US.
To take part in our Labor and employment research you can either submit your work and details through our main US research form or submit via our dedicated labor and employment submission form. For more details please click HERE.
In an effort to provide the most accurate and comprehensive coverage of the United States litigation market, we have taken a two-fold approach to our research.
The national section of our guide identifies 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 United States 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.
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 US state. Each state 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.
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. These individuals MUST BE OF PARTNER LEVEL.
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 questionnaires by the due date and who eventually become ranked will receive some form of editorial coverage, however we do not guarantee rankings or lawyer ratings simply on the strength of firm questionnaires/interviews alone. Rankings are a cumulative product of direct input from firms, peer review and client review. Firms who submit questionnaires 30 days beyond the due date are not guaranteed editorial analysis at all.
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?
Yes. Litigation stars and future stars alike MUST be of partner status. The only exception to this is partners who have since hit "mandatory retirement" age at a particular firm and has stayed on as counsel status. However, these are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and de-equitized former partners must demonstrate and/or receive market recognition as still maintaining an active enough litigation practice to qualify for "star" status.
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 prepare for the interview process, and how do we know which partner(s) to schedule?
Benchmark reporters are available to speak with partners between January and July on a first-come/first-serve basis. Phone interviews can be scheduled between 10am and 5pm ET, Monday through Friday. We interview anywhere between one and five partners per firm. One-partner interviews are typically with a managing partner or head/chair of the litigation department. Multiple partner interviews are typically with those representing different practice areas and/or those exemplifying a "generational spectrum" (a mix of more seasoned/established partners and those representing the "future star"/"next generation" levels.) Conference calls can be arranged, with no more than three partners on any one call. Phone interviews can last anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes, depending on the number of practitioners involved and the reporter's inquiry needs. Partners should be prepared to speak to their, as well as the firm's, overall perspective on litigation and disputes, discussing any recent highlights or achievements, as well as any broader market trends or forces that are driving work in their area. Partner interviewees MUST also be prepared/willing to answer peer review questions from the Benchmark reporter. The interview is not merely a promotional opportunity for the firm, it is also essential to our data gathering process and key to ensuring the integrity of our rankings. Benchmark reporters reserve the right to decline to interview any partner(s) who do not wish to offer peer review.
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 and your firm's location, we can arrange one. In-person meetings allow for more partners to be interviewed (up to 10) and greater time frames devoted (up to 2 hours.) These can be scheduled between 11am and 4pm ET on a first-come/first-serve basis. We also conduct in-person meetings outside the New York metro area, with various locales chosen on a yearly basis. Reporters will be in touch if plans are confirmed to make a visit to your jurisdiction.
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?
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