This is the most significant update of the Chambers form since the last major iteration in Fall 2014.
If you have already begun work on a submission using an older version of the template, Chambers will continue to accept them for the time being.
For law firm marketers who have used the standard Chambers form in the last couple of years, the look and feel of the template is much the same.
The main difference, however, is that the submission is now clearly divided into “Publishable” and “Confidential” sections, making it much easier to tell Chambers what information can be used by them for publication purposes, and what should remain confidential.
You can now list out 10 clients and ten work highlights in each sub-section – that is, 10 publishable ones, and 10 confidential ones – making a potential total matter count of 20, an increase on the current 15-matter limit.
I have to say that I am pleased with this development, since questions over confidentiality dogged the last version of the form.
The previous box on the matter entries that allowed firms to indicate “part confidentiality” created plenty of confusion.
Lawyers being lawyers, they would often fill the box with ambiguous caveats and disclaimers and the like, all of which made those reading the submissions, including the Chambers staff, scratch their heads wondering if the matter was in fact publishable or not.
The risk of things being wrongly published, or not published at all, was high.
As you can see from Chambers’ language, now there’s much more clarity:
And the publishable sections are a lovely pale green color to distinguish them from the confidential matter entries, which are a pinky-red color.
A related area of confusion on the previous form was inconsistency throughout the document over whether clients were publishable or not.
Firms, for example, would indicate that a client was confidential on the client list, but mark it as publishable later on in the matter descriptions, or vice versa.
This wasn’t necessarily the fault of the legal marketers as different partners sometimes had different interpretations of whether a particular client was confidential, but it did create a disconnect.
Section C3 from the old form, in which you mentioned the names of new clients, has been merged into the client list on the new form.
Now there is a second column after the name of the client where you can indicate if the client was new in the last 12 months.
A section from the 2015 form that has been ditched is C4 – this was the part where you listed those clients with whom you had worked for more than three years.
There won’t be any tears shed by legal marketers at the loss of this box, since firms often spent ages trawling through lists of client, trying to decide which ones to include (without upsetting anybody), or else listing a ton of names.