Jul 22 '16
There are typically three parts involved in the submission process: the submission itself, client references and (sometimes) an interview with the researcher compiling the directory. We’ve compiled some of the best ways to secure your spot in the limelight. The full list can be found in our guide to getting legal directory submissions right.
Meet the deadlines. The sooner the researcher receives all of your material the easier it will be to deal with any issues or omissions that could crop up during processing. This is especially necessary with the referee spreadsheet as the researcher could begin contacting your clients before they speak to you. You want to make sure there is enough time to correct any contact details and guarantee that glowing quote. You can find the deadlines on the directory websites.
Clearly structure your submission. Chambers & Partners very kindly publishes a pro-forma template for your submission that you need to use. As a basic rule you need to plan to include:
• Basic information about the firm/set and contacts.
• Department information including contacts, head count, hires and fires etc.
• Feedback on your ranking in the current edition (as well as an opportunity to com-ment on other firms).
• Practice area overview and selling points.
• Key achievements within that practice area in the last 12 months.
• List of key individuals already ranked by the publication you are working on (by order of year of call or PQE).
• List of specialists seeking rankings by that publication (again, ordered by year of call or PQE).
• Specific reference to overseas experience or ‘foreign desks’.
• Information on each specialist (in order as above), including (in addition to what they do and when they started) USPs – what makes them different? Niche expertise, rele-vant past experience outside their practice, landmark cases in the last 12 months they have participated in – what role did they play? Why was the case important?
• Work highlights – include up to five noteworthy cases handled in the last 12 months – what was the barrister’s or solicitor’s role (2 sentences)? Dates (and case reference if applicable). Who else was involved in the case? Who were they against? Why/how is the case significant? Was it high profile, complex, unique, commercially important? Include any press links. Confidentiality – is the case confidential or publishable?
• Any supporting information, for example awards, league tables, press etc.
• List of publishable clients (as well as any that must remain confidential).
• List of new client and panel wins over the last 12 months.
• List of key clients that you’ve had for over three years.
• Details of industry specialisation, within that practice area.
Keep it short. Researchers have a lot of information to process so keep your submis-sion short and sweet! Ideally, no more than two A4 pages per practice area should be sufficient to get across your key messages and examples without bombarding the re-searcher with irrelevant information.
Be helpful. The researcher will have the tough task of condensing the information about your practice into one or two sentences. Why not help them and try to write it yourself, this way you can convey the key message of your practice.
Request an interview. Although interviews are becoming less common, if you request an interview with the researcher it is unlikely to be declined. The interview is a bril-liant opportunity to make sure that the key messages about your practice have been communicated correctly to the researcher, so it is wise to assign this task to those who will best represent the practice area and the firm.