The Lawyer has rolled out a groundbreaking new directory-style product that tracks the number of times law firms appear in court.
The London-based legal media group trailed the new tool last year, but has now released it into the market.
Known as “Litigation Tracker”, the site draws on data from English civil court judgments in 2015 and 2016 – some 6,000 cases – and then slices and dices the information to show which firms are most active for different types of litigation.
The report reveals the most active firms, barristers and solicitors for court action, the most active companies in litigation by sector, the relationships between companies and law firms, and the success rates of participants.
While you have to pay to use the product – The Lawyer has been working on the litigation tracker since late 2015 and made a huge investment in time and staff – the company has put out a few teasers to give readers a flavor of what to expect.
Below is a graphic showing the top 10 firms (the full list for paying subscribers extends to the top 100) ranked by number of cases.
And this one shows which firms are most present in the English courts, ranking them by “case days”.
As well as solicitors, the report features the barristers sets that most regularly appear in the higher courts.
At an event in London organized by Law Firm Media Professionals on February 13 2017, The Lawyer editor Catrin Griffiths was bullish about the prospects for the litigation tracker, and believes that it will reshape the way the market perceives contentious work:
“We hope this will add real value for clients, and will change the landscape of litigation. Corporate lawyers have long been able to benchmark their activity through the M&A league tables, but similar research has not been available for the litigation market until now. This product puts the litigators in the spotlight – it’s not just about the M&A lawyers anymore.”
To accompany the release of the litigation tracker, The Lawyer has also published a video in which Catrin Griffiths and research director Thomas Sturge discuss the new product.
Dr Peter Macmillan says
This database on the activities of litigation lawyers no doubt reflects The Lawyer’s commitment to providing thought provoking and actionable market intelligence for lawyers and their clients. In this sense it’s a natural extension for an industry publication that has deep knowledge of the legal industry. However, these same data are also now being provided by tech-based operators like Premonition which uses AI to trawl hundreds of thousands of court records to find out not only which lawyers are appearing in which cases (the focus of The Lawyer’s initiative) but also their win/loss ratios and other results-focused analytics (which it appears The Lawyer will not be doing). I’m therefore concerned whether The Lawyer will be able to match the scale and efficacy of these alternative service providers. I also question the usefulness of ranking information based solely on lawyer activities. The reference to M&A league tables is, in my view, not a compelling argument insofar as league tables based on activities and the size of deals is arguably of far greater interest to the law firms in question and their marketing departments than they are to their clients. My take is that The Lawyer and the lawyer ranking directories that have been around for a long time are well placed to leverage off the quality of their research teams and editorial expertise. I am less confident that they can add the same level of value when it comes to statistical data analysis, particularly compared to the AI and machine learning capabilities of the new breed of litigation trackers whose strength lies in their ability to harness the power and scalability of highly sophisticated analytics systems. Needless to say I’m extremely interested to see whether and to what extent The Lawyer succeeds in this space, which is ultimately something only the market can tell us.