How we select the Hot 100

Members of The Lawyer Hot 100 have just two things in common. The first is excellence. Every year, our Hot 100 covers an incredibly diverse mix of legal professionals: scrappers from the rough and tumble of criminal law; sophisticated corporate dealmakers; intellectuals and silver-tongued advocates from barristers’ profession; the in-house counsel with the ear of their CEOs; associates rising to greatness; and even the occasional professional with no legal qualifications at all who is nevertheless showing the industry how to better itself. But whatever world they come from, they are all doing amazing work.

The second is relevance. In The Hot 100, talented young guns rub shoulders with eminent lawyers who have years of success behind them. What links those seasoned veterans with those at the start of their careers is that they are all of the present moment. The work they are doing is important NOW.

The 2021 list is as varied as always: what perhaps makes this year’s Hot 100 unique is the sheer number of jobs and lives saved by the people on it. Restructuring specialists abound: they have helped rescue businesses on and off the high street. And we have a new category this year recognising heroes of Covid: lawyers like Charlotte Burnett of DAC Beachcroft who played a crucial role getting beds and ventilators to healthcare trusts, and Matthew Warren of Bristows who helped the Oxford University vaccine get distributed on a not-for-profit basis.

Elsewhere, there are people working on the biggest trials and deals of our time, alongside those who through their efforts are making the legal profession better in one way or another: more sophisticated, more innovative, more diverse, more fair. Every single one of them is worthy of celebration.