Richard Freeland, London editor and David Kelly, regional editor of The Legal 500, introduce the 2005 edition.
The Legal 500 was the first clients' guide to law firms and, over 18 years, has developed into the largest and most in-depth survey of the UK legal market.
We analyse the practices of more than 800 law firms and more than 150 sets of barristers' chambers. The Legal 500 is a unique book. There are other objective and independent surveys of law firms and chambers, but none is researched and written by such a team of experienced and award-winning writers.
All researchers also work on our sister publications Legal Business and The In-House Lawyer, and some also edit other Legalease titles such as Employment Law Journal and Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal. Many researchers have years of experience ( an essential quality in an increasingly complex marketplace.
Understanding the firms is only one aspect of the research process.
Ultimately, it is the clients' opinions that matter. In addition to the 3,000 or so references taken up this year, we also rely on our own database of clients, numbering many thousands, more in-house counsel and other purchasers of legal services. Our research continues to be endorsed by the Commerce & Industry Group, as recognised by the Law Society of England and Wales.
Over 20,000 copies of the book are distributed free every year, although it is our website (at www.legal500.com) which many clients are now increasingly turning to. With nearly two million page hits per week, it is one of the world's largest legal websites. We also publish The Asia Pacific Legal 500 and The Legal 500 ( Europe, Middle East & Africa, covering over 80 different jurisdictions.
Our findings are seen by a huge range of clients, not only international businesses and FTSE companies. In 2004, over 100 local newspapers and trade titles covered The Legal 500's findings, with circulation over 3.6 million and a readership of more than 10 million people.
This book is primarily a reference tool for buyers of legal services. …