IFLR1000 undertakes qualitative research into law firms and lawyers to inform the publication of annual rankings, ratings and awards, and editorial content.
The company has been producing legal market intelligence since 1990 and remains the only international legal market research brand focused on ranking law firms and lawyers on the basis of financial and corporate transactional work.
Currently IFLR1000 ranks close to 5000 law firms and more than 21,000 lawyers across 12 practice areas and 250 jurisdictions – national and regional – globally. We accept submissions from firms based anywhere in the world and will produce rankings and ratings for any jurisdiction which we have sufficient deal evidence and client feedback for. You can view a complete list of all rankings we are actively researching on our PRACTICE AREA RANKING CATEGORIES BY JURISDICTION GUIDE.
Our researchers track legal market developments (transactions and law firm news) throughout the year to inform their research. If you have any relevant firm or deal news you would like us to consider for our research or online output, please contact the relevant regional editor via IFLR1000's contacts page.
Register your contact details through the link below to receive IFLR1000 research announcements and newsletters. Throughout the year we provide updates about the progress of our research, including essential information such as deadlines, research form templates and guidelines, and access to newly published research and editorial content.
Any firm advising on financial and corporate or project-related legal work can participate in the research for our rankings by submitting a research form and supporting client referees.
There is no fee to participate in the research.
Firms can submit one research form and supporting client referees per practice area and jurisdiction. This year's submission deadline is FEBRUARY 1, 2023.
We request the following information is provided to us on our research form templates.
Word research form
Excel research form
* Client referees must have worked with the firm in the 18 months prior to submission on work relevant to our research. Firms can submit an unlimited number of referees - all referees provided by the initial submission deadline will be contacted.
**We encourage firms to submit work highlights on the Excel template so the data is formatted in a way that can easily be imported into IFLR1000 Deal Data.
IFLR1000 has created a single taxonomy file for key sections of the work highlights we request to ensure we are collecting consistent information to enhance our ability to analyse large amounts of data.
The taxonomies are available in one excel sheet across different tabs: DOWNLOAD TAXONOMY FILE
Please reference and use the relevant item on these documents when completing the work highlights section on the forms.
There are three steps to the submission process:
IFLR1000 and Euromoney (the business' parent company) have developed a submission portal (Euromoney Accreditation Portal).
Benefits for participants:
Below are the key research deadlines for all IFLR1000 research to be published in the calendar year 2023.
Please note: We will be releasing our key research publication dates for 2023 in the coming months.
IFLR1000 evaluates law firms and lawyers by practice area within a jurisdiction on the basis of transactional evidence and client feedback.
We do not research arbitration, disputes, employment, IP, litigation, or tax work. Any work submitted that falls into these practice areas will not be taken into account.
IFLR1000 assesses and compares transactions by how complex or challenging the work is or whether there was any innovation involved in the deal or its structuring. Firm and lawyers that consistently – over at least several research cycles or three calendar years – advise on a share of the most complex or innovative transactions in their markets, and that receive excellent feedback for that work, will be ranked or rated highly. See ‘Firm ranking and lawyer rating criteria’ section for more detail.
IFLR1000 ranks firms according to the work undertaken by firms’ lawyers based in a jurisdiction. Only firms with an office in a jurisdiction licensed by a local bar association can be ranked in that jurisdiction’s rankings. Lawyers must be licensed and based in a country to be rated at a national level there.
Regional research: IFLR1000 Canada, China and the United States
In Canada, China and the United States, in addition to our national rankings, we also research firms on the basis of their teams’ work in provinces, regions or states.
Canada, China and the United States are three of the four largest countries by landmass in the world and each has local legal markets where the firms that dominate the areas of legal work IFLR1000 researches vary from a regional to a national level.
IFLR1000 China researches firms and rates lawyers in nine provinces/municipalities listed below. The research is undertaken and published in Mandarin and English. Firms can submit work that falls into any of our core practice areas (see ‘Practice area ranking categories’ section).
IFLR1000 Canada researches firms and rates lawyers in the seven regions listed below. Firms can submit work that falls into any of our core practice areas (see ‘Practice area ranking categories’ section).
IFLR1000 United States
IFLR1000 United States researches firms and lawyers in all 50 states and DC. Firms can submit work that falls into any of our core practice areas (see ‘Practice area ranking categories’ section) and also transactional real estate development, financing or M&A work. Our real estate rankings are exclusive to the United States, and at a state level only.
IFLR1000 ranks firms and lawyers by practice area. Our research focuses on financial and corporate and project development work. We assess work in the following practice areas (a financial and corporate ranking is based on all the types of work listed below excluding project development):
To view the type of work that can be submitted for each practice area, see our DOWNLOAD PRACTICE AREA DEFINITIONS:
The practice areas we produce rankings for vary by country, depending on the volume of work generally seen in a market and how specialised firms and lawyers are within the market concerned. To view which practice areas we currently produce rankings for in your jurisdiction and those we intend to in the next research cycle, see our PRACTICE AREA RANKING CATEGORIES BY JURISDICTION GUIDE*.
*Please note we accept submissions from firms based anywhere in the world and will produce rankings for any jurisdiction where we have sufficient deal evidence and client feedback.
Our law firm rankings and lawyer ratings are based on three key criteria:
In each research cycle we ask firms to provide transactional highlights from a designated period.
Transactional evidence is the decisive factor we use to determine a firm’s ranking. For a firm to be ranked, it must have a track record of advising on transactional work relevant to our ranking categories. The same applies to the ratings of individuals; lawyers must have been working on significant work in some capacity to be rated. Primarily firms submit work to us via the research form.
In the context of the jurisdiction and practice area, we assess deals on the basis of:
When making an assessment of firm’s work we also take into account:
We use client feedback to help us assess the quality of advice and service lawyers and firms are providing. We survey tens of thousands of corporate and in-house contacts provided to us by participating firms annually to ask their opinions on the firms and lawyers they use.
Client feedback is used in support of transactional evidence when determining a firm’s ranking or lawyer’s rating. What this means is good feedback alone will not ensure a firm or lawyer is ranked or rated, a firm or individual must be experienced in advising on significant work.
When you submit you should try and provide referees for all the lawyers at the firm you feel should be rated. A lawyer working on significant matters who receives a reasonable amount of good client feedback is more likely to be rated.
Increasing response rate of referees
Some ways we have found increase the number of referees who respond to our survey are:
During each research cycle we conduct an online Lawyer Survey of lawyers to get their thoughts and feedback on the firms and lawyers in their markets. All partners and senior lawyers active in work relevant research to our ranking categories are invited to participate.
We conduct a significant number of phone and face-to-face interviews with practitioners, where we ask for feedback on firms and discuss trends. By discussing market trends we are able to gain a better understanding of what the most significant deals in the market have been recently, which helps us assess work submitted to us.
Peer feedback can be particularly useful for individual ratings as lawyers are well placed to recognize the leaders in their own practice areas.
Peer feedback is secondary to client feedback and we only take feedback into account where it is supported by work evidence.
IFLR1000 Lawyer Survey
Our annual Lawyer Survey is an opportunity for lawyers to provide evidence to support a Leading Lawyer rating and to provide feedback on our rankings and ratings.
Lawyers can provide us with recent examples of their work and details about their practice area and industry sector specialisms, which will be assessed when we evaluate our Leading Lawyer ratings.
Lawyers can also provide feedback on the rankings and the legal markets they work in. Relevant and reasoned feedback will be taken into consideration if we find supporting evidence.
In addition to firm rankings, IFLR1000 also recognizes the work of outstanding individuals.
IFLR1000’s lawyer ranking categories are primarily based on transactional evidence, client and peer feedback. When you nominate lawyers for a category by making a submission, please include at least three examples of each nominee’s work within the research cycle in the deal highlights section (using the Word or Excel templates) and three referees (using the Excel template) who can provide feedback on their work.
IFLR1000 only recognise lawyers in the jurisdiction where they are based.
Partners who are the true leaders in their practice area(s) and jurisdiction in the eyes of clients and peers, and have track records of leading on the most high-profile, innovative deals in their markets.
To be ranked Women Leader, lawyers must meet the criteria for Market Leader (stated above) or must hold high status within their market for their leadership abilities. See ‘Women Leaders’ section for more detail.
Partners who are highly regarded by their clients and peers, and possess a strong transactional records.
Senior figures with name recognition who focus on consulting and building client relationships.
Lawyers who made partner relatively recently who are working on complex deals and are recommended by clients or peers. Only lawyers who made partner within three years of the current submission deadline (February 1, 2023) are eligible for this rating.
Ones to watch: lawyers building their reputations in the market who are working on notable deals and are recommended by clients or peers. Only non-partners who qualified within 15 years of the current submission deadline (February 1, 2023) are eligible for this rating.
We recognise lawyers who have track records of advising on significant deals in the context of their market and practice area as Notable Practitioners.
IFLR1000 Women Leader is an elite ranking category reserved for the most prominent women lawyers across the world working in the areas of law IFLR1000 researches.
The 2022 cohort features around 1025 lawyers, a 33% increase from 2021.
To be ranked Women Leader, lawyers must have outstanding reputations for working on complex or innovative deals or must hold high status within their market for their leadership abilities.
Lawyers must be working in the areas of financial and corporate transactions or regulation, or in contract, licensing or regulatory work related to project development to be eligible for this rating category.
IFLR1000 uses evidence submitted on research forms and client and peer feedback as the primary resource for Women Leaders' research. Please see 'Section 8' of the guidelines for more information.
IFLR1000's research teams in Hong Kong, London, New York and Sofia collectively analyse thousands of research submissions, conduct thousands of interviews with law firm partners, and survey tens of thousands of clients to determine IFLR1000's Women Leaders. The research methodology follows that of IFLR1000’S Leading Lawyers. See ‘Section 8’ for more details.
Each year Women Leaders uses the previous submission cycle's data for the research. Women Leaders 2023 will be based primarily on submissions made in 2022.
The best way to participate in the Women Leaders research is through the annual IFLR1000 research cycle. Firms can nominate lawyers on the IFLR1000 research form and should include deal evidence (ideally three) and referees (ideally five) for each individual they nominate. Individual lawyers can also nominate themselves by taking our Lawyer Survey (open in March 2023).
The awards are based on the research conducted by IFLR1000’s researchers during the annual research cycle and use as their primary source the IFLR1000 submissions. The awards research is also supported by a dedicated awards team, combining IFLR1000’s existing methodology, honed over 30 years of covering legal markets, with a resource to analyse unique transactions in detail.
All decisions relating to the shortlists and winners are independent and made by an IFLR1000 panel consisting of the regional editors and researchers. Each shortlist is the culmination of months of research, analysing hundreds of submissions, surveying thousands of referees and interviewing hundreds of lawyers.
The awards recognise and celebrate the best-performing law firms and lawyers as well we the most impressive deals of the year within a single market. They endeavour to reflect the depth of domestic legal markets, with categories recognising work at state or region level.
The IFLR1000 awards use IFLR1000’s methodology and will base decisions on written submissions, interviews with key practitioners in the market, peer review and client feedback. All aspects are considered to give the fullest possible picture.
Final decisions will be made independently by the IFLR1000 editors.
Evidence of structuring and closing highly sophisticated, complex and impactful deals is critical in the evaluation. The awards will focus on work in a single jurisdiction, governed by the domestic laws, led by domestic lawyers and with a significant domestic impact.
A proven ability to provide market-leading commercial advice to clients and consistent recognition by peers that a firm’s, team’s or individual’s work has been setting the standard in the market are also key factors in judging the awards.
Shortlist announced: TBD
Winners revealed: TBD