Firms hold legal guides to account

Law firms are banding together to bring legal directories to account in the wake of a survey claiming some clients do not rely on the guides to select law firms.

The Lawyer published results of a survey this month which found only 5 per cent of respondents from the in-house sector felt directories were “very important” when selecting law firms. Nearly half said they were “not important at all or not very important”.

The figures came from a Wheeler Associates' survey of in-house lawyers, general counsel, company secretaries and finance directors at 500 of the UK's largest companies.

One legal analyst says: “Your article has had a huge impact…Someone was saying to me they have pulled all their entries.”

Several firms have met to reach a decision on what to do about directories.

A magic circle firm spokesman says: “We had one meeting with other firms present and an editor of a directory. We expressed issues and concerns.”

Michael Belford, head of business development at Lovell White Durrant, says: “We talk about it on an on-going basis. We are planning to look for value for money.”

Another firm says: “If we got a press release from the magic circle saying they were all going to drop out of the directories others would soon follow suit.”