Best practices for International & Cross-Border Capabilities research

The International and Cross-Border Capabilities (ICBC) research is undertaken by the GIC team, and it differs from the research conducted on the regional guides such as UK, Europe or Latin America on a few levels. In this article we will explain some of the key differences and provide some tips.

Published on 10 May 2024
Written by Ben Spencer
Ben Spencer

International and Cross-Border Capabilities Submissions

For the ICBC research, we rely on the feedback gained from the regional guide research, rather than interview clients directly. From this perspective, we will analyse the feedback a firm receives in a range of practice areas at the regional-guide level for evidence of cross-border capabilities. To this end, it is helpful for the firm to put forward referees who can evaluate the firm`s international capabilities as part of the regional guide research.

A second key difference is that there are no specific submissions for ICBC practice areas. Instead, we take a broader view of all related regional submissions and assess them for quality international work. It is therefore important for law firms to keep in mind that ICBC researchers will be looking at your regional submissions, in addition to researchers on the regional guides, when compiling the document.  

Bearing this in mind, what can you do to make your regional submissions catch the eye of our ICBC researchers? To answer this question, it is helpful to have a better understanding of what we are looking for when analysing submissions. The first thing of importance is the clients listed. It is important to highlight the firm`s large multinational client base, and the international work the firm undertakes for these clients.  

The second point to note is the number of jurisdictions involved in the matter. Different firms will have different approaches to cross-border work. Some firms will work with their network of offices worldwide bringing with it the benefits of an integrated, one-stop shop model, whilst others will work with best friends’ networks which has the benefit of being able to pick and choose appropriate counsel based on the clients’ requirements. From an ICBC perspective, highlighting matters involving multiple jurisdictions in the regional submissions is recommended.

As part of our ICBC research we will conduct calls with key practitioners at law firms. During these calls, we will examine the firm`s approach to cross-border work, significant cross-border matters they have been working on, as well as inviting lawyers to give an assessment of competitors’ international capabilities. In this regard, it is helpful if lawyers can have examples to hand of key international mandates, drawing on matters from local submissions when appropriate. Please bear in mind that during interviews you can refer to inbound or outbound cross-border matters.

We look at a wide range of local submissions when evaluating firms, please contact the relevant researcher if you have questions about which local submissions are considered for the corresponding ICBC research.


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