The 2016 Who’s Who in Canadian Law Firms:
Serving Clients in Canada, the US, and Globally
By Jean Cumming, Editor-in-Chief
CANADIAN LEGAL TALENT
- 1.5 points for each lawyer in the “Most Frequently Recommended”
tier in any of the relevant practice areas in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory OR The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading Lawyers 500 in Canada;
- 0.75 points for each lawyer in the “Consistently Recommended” tier in any of the relevant practice areas in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory;
- 0.5 points for each lawyer in the “Repeatedly Recommended” tier in any of the relevant practice areas in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory;
- If one lawyer appears in multiple practice areas, the calculation is treated as if it were for more than one lawyer.
THE METHOD BEHIND THE RANKINGS
The identification of leading
practitioners and firms is based upon comprehensive survey work across
the country, which has been ongoing since 1994. The process targets
lawyers acknowledged as leaders in their respective fields, lawyers
prominent in professional organizations, and lawyers otherwise enjoying
significant recognition from their colleagues.
Certain surveys also canvass in-house
counsel. Again this year, in-house counsel were formally surveyed in the
following practice areas: Banking; Computer & IT Law; Corporate
Commercial Law; Corporate Finance & Securities; Litigation –
Corporate Commercial; Litigation – Intellectual Property; Mergers &
Acquisitions; and Property Development.
On our surveys, Lexpert® sets
out a list of the lawyers represented in the previous year’s
directories, with room for write-in votes. Lawyers on the list who
garner insufficient votes are not named in the surveys in the following
year, while write-ins who receive sufficient support do appear as named
nominees on the following year’s surveys.
The surveying does not proceed by way of random, unsolicited mailings. Lexpert® follows up on unanswered surveys and also conducts personal interviews with senior members of the profession.
These methods have produced an unusually high response rate. In 2015, Lexpert®
made 12,969 requests for completed surveys from lawyers at law firms,
and 6,561 additional requests were sent to corporate counsel. We
received 10,587 completed surveys from law firm practitioners
representing a response rate of 81.63 per cent. Our response rate from
corporate counsel was 1.95 per cent.
AN EVOLVING APPROACH
In keeping with extensive consultations conducted with stakeholders in 2015, Lexpert®
has revised the practice groups embraced by its various rankings to
accord with the realities of an evolving legal market. Accordingly, the
text that goes with each chart has at its outset a listing of the
practice groups included in the surveys for the particular ranking.
It is important to remember that these
changes reflect the market as it is today. Our rankings do change and
evolve, year after year.
Lexpert® will continue with its
consultations on an ongoing basis in 2016, and beyond, to ensure that
the bull’s-eye charts continue to reflect an accurate picture of the
There are also elements of editorial
discretion applied to the rankings and the bull’s-eye charts. This is
applied in a principled approach. So, for example, if there have been
several lawyers who have made lateral moves from a firm, notwithstanding
that they were individually ranked at the time of the Surveys, we have
updated the overall firm results in the bull’s-eye charts to reflect the
current situation. Discretion exists also when it comes to determining
the levels of ranking, among Most Frequently, Consistently and
Repeatedly Recommended — we attempt to draw the lines between
identifiable clusters within the vote numbers.