With the key 2024 UK directories and the deadlines for the 2025 guides now published, what should you do if your lawyers, barristers or management are unhappy with their rankings? Knowing how important directory rankings are, lawyers and barristers can get very worked up about results they feel are unfair or just plain wrong. Here are our top tips for dealing with this delicate situation:
Firstly, remember to keep calm. You may be on the receiving end of impassioned complaints but it's important to manage your lawyers' expectations rather than simply to agree and increase their frustration.
Remind your lawyers that it is extremely unlikely that any directory will change a ranking once it's published.
If the coverage of your firm or practice contains a factual error, drop the directory editor a line to explain this and to ask that they change it. They are usually very helpful in this case, as they also want to make sure their publication is accurate.
Other than factual errors, the problem is likely because the directory in question may not have understood enough about your practice. In that instance, your best option is to put in place a really good internal directories process for the next year, rather than complaining.
Your internal directories process should include: the production of high-quality submissions that really 'tell your story'; the selection of exactly the right mix of client referees to talk about your practice; a process for checking up on client interview rates with the researchers so that you can ensure they speak to as many clients as possible; and an 'Editors Day' in which you invite the directory editors in to your office to get an overview of your practice, strategy and growth over the last year.
Reassure your lawyers that your internal process will be, or has been, reviewed to include the elements above to ensure that next year's rankings are as accurate as possible.
Lastly, it may be necessary to remind your lawyers that the best directories pride themselves on their independent research and editorial and that their results are based largely on what clients and 'the market' say, i.e. factors that may be beyond your control.