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Chambers UK Regional Tour Recap

Discover highlights from the UK Regional Tour hosted by the Chambers UK team across several cities.

Published on 24 May 2022
Written by Alex Marsh
Alex Marsh

Chambers UK visit law firms across the country

After two years of not being able to meet law firms in person due to Covid, Chambers UK has been keen to return to face-to-face meetings. Visiting four key UK cities in a month was the perfect way to reengage with the market. 

In the first week of April the UK team travelled to Birmingham and Manchester and presented to firms in both cities. 

Legal market trends in Birmingham and Scotland

The discussion of market trends in Birmingham focused on the relatively fixed nature of the market: Browne Jacobson, Freeths and Shoosmiths vie for top spot in the region, with Shakespeare Martineau only marginally behind.  

This contrasts with Scotland, where the market has shaken up more profoundly in the last decade.  

Chambers UK Tour 2022

Brodies has extended its lead over Burness Paull in a period where mergers and insolvencies have shifted the scene. Semple Fraser and McClure Naismith were notable players ten years ago, but have now fallen out of the picture.  

Meanwhile, Harper McCleod’s acceleration in the same period has not gone unnoticed. 

Research Manager Lydia Burt accompanied me and Steven to Edinburgh, where we engaged with the Scottish market, presenting to around 50 key players and visiting around ten firms’ offices. We then met seven firms in Newcastle. 

What is the key story behind the legal market in Manchester?

In Manchester the story is one of national firms entering the North West market. The biggest slice of recent success here has been taken by Shoosmiths, followed by TLT, Mills & Reeve and Gateley. 

In addition to presenting in Manchester, we also visited around 20 firms individually. I was accompanied by Head of the Chambers UK Bar Guide Steven Preston, Research Manager Katie Read, Chambers CEO Tim Noble, and members of our hardworking commercial team.

Chambers UK Tour 2022

The Chambers UK Tour

Our presentation was tailored to each city, discussing the rise and fall of firms over the last decade in each market. As many of the attendees were marketing professionals tasked with perfecting Chambers’ submissions, we offered tips on best practice and outlined pitfalls to avoid.  

The most common question firms asked us was about managing their client referees. This has always been a difficult process. Referee feedback forms the fulcrum of the research process.  

Chambers UK Tour 2022

Chambers is a clients’ guide, so it is natural that client feedback underpins our rankings. We were pleased to be able to reveal our new referee management software, which makes the complicated referee process easy.

To request further information on the new platform, please click here

Discussing how law firms can improve their diversity and inclusion 

It was important to use these events to discuss the use of D&I to Chambers, not least because the regions tend to outperform London when it comes to numbers of high-profile women lawyers, with the West Midlands the best performing area of all.  

In Scotland, we revealed that Thorntons, BTO and Balfour+Manson are all able to boast that over 60% of their ranked lawyers are women, with Blackadders and Shoosmiths not far behind.  

We also discussed our plans for our inaugural D&I-focused spotlight table in the forthcoming UK guide. 

As it was so mutually beneficial to build relationships with firms outside of London, the team is forming plans to visit more cities in the next 12 months. 

Connecting with the Chambers UK team

If you firm was unable to attend any of the events and meet the team, we welcome the chance to reconnect.  

You can contact me by emailing me at [email protected] and Steven Preston can be reached at [email protected]