I recently posted a piece questioning the use of Legal Directories. Almost 1400 read it and there were many comments – most in agreement with my proposition that their use, in selecting lawyers, was limited.
In The Times ‘The Brief’ section last year, a more excoriating appraisal;
Legal profession award ceremonies work to a template.
First, concoct as many categories as possible to create long “short lists” and flog as many tables as possible. Hence prizes are given for fields such as the finance restructuring real estate TMT team of the year based in Hong Kong with holiday homes in Dubai who know a lot of in-house lawyers.
Next, spend a large wad on a big name compère, usually a telly comedian but sometimes a renowned newsreader or other personality. This character’s role is to keep the punters entertained during the interminable business of doling out about 30 trophies – great lumps that will end up in junk shop in 10 years’ time.
On the same day the academic article, by Dr Chris Hanretty, Reader in Politics at the University of East Anglia, which I mentioned was published. Follow the link for a good read about how Legal Directories rankings bear little relation to lawyers’ performance. You know, in court.
Amazingly, those who instruct lawyers do so without using quantitative, objective and reliable data on their performance; their win/loss ratios etc. Until now that is.
Premonition (www.premonition.ai) has the world’s biggest legal database where the performance of lawyers in many jurisdictions can be found. If you’ve been following the ‘Panama Papers’ farrago you might know that Mossack Fonseca set up about 130000 companies in the BVI. We might expect some litigation to take place there. Premonition has all the court data for the BVI. Those contemplating litigation might like to see some data about lawyers’ performance there.
All this new information is bundled together under the heading of ‘Big Data’.
To get a better perspective on this, in relation to legal work, I can recommend this article in the Financial Times; Technology – Breaking the Law.
Reputation, Legal Directory listings, impressive offices and biscuits with chocolate on both sides in the conference room are some indicators a prospective instructor of lawyers might use. Some hard performance numbers might be even better.