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Which law firms have the most rankings in Chambers UK 2023?

Discover the law firms with the most rankings in the 2023 edition of the Chambers UK Guide.

Published on 18 October 2022
Written by Alex Marsh
Alex Marsh

Recognising and showcasing the best legal talent across the UK

A ranking in Chambers is a mark of quality that can’t be found anywhere else. They come after a year of intense hard work by the UK team, which conducted in-depth interviews with tens of thousands of clients.

Through such interviews, we are able to differentiate between the best and the very, very best, so that GCs are able to make the best choice when it matters. Accordingly, law firms around the UK will be keeping their eyes close to the results on 20th October, when the new rankings will be revealed. 

Most comprehensive UK-wide law firms

The law firms with the most rankings in the latest edition of Chambers UK are, perhaps unsurprisingly, full-service law firms with a strong presence throughout the country. Pinsent Masons is the clear winner here, boasting 21 more rankings than its nearest rival, Eversheds Sutherland.

The top six all benefit from offices outside of London, although it is interesting to note that A&O, Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith all achieve a high position here through their single location in the capital. 

It is possible for a law firm to do well on the above metric with a sizable batch of rankings in the lower tiers. A Chambers ranking is still a mark of quality, whether it’s Band 1 or Band 5 – and, in fact, the tables we have with five or six bands are often the most competitive. Nevertheless, there is a natural instinct to want to look at the best of the best. How does the picture change when looking at only Band 1 rankings? 

Most elite law firms in Britain

In this view, Eversheds takes top spot, eclipsing its national rival by 13 rankings. The most interesting development at this level is the entrance of Brodies. The leading Scottish law firm has “only” 49 ranked departments in total – due to the fact that the bulk of its lawyers are based in Scotland – yet 33 of those sit in the top tier. This gives it one of the highest concentrations of elite departments in the guide. 

Best law firms in London and UK-wide

For clients in London, the leading firms with the most comprehensive practices in the capital are – in terms of sheer numbers of rankings – CMS, Clifford Chance and A&O.

Then, if we again look at only the elite top-tier rankings, we can find what is arguably the closest thing to what might be described as the “best” law firm in Chambers UK. Three of the five magic circle law firms vie together at the top here. 

Of course, Chambers only ranks departments and not law firms, so we do not have a view on which is the best law firm. Many of our tables include elite boutiques with only a couple of rankings in the entire guide, but their ranked departments are among the very best in the market.

Nevertheless, it is still of interest to note that all of CMS, Eversheds, Pinsent Masons, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters can stake a claim to the title of most or best rankings in some shape or form. Equally, Brodies can claim to be the firm with the best rankings in Scotland, Hugh James and Eversheds to be the best in Wales, and Carson McDowell to be the best in Northern Ireland. 

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Other ways of being the best

There are countless ways we could slice the data. We could look at the law firms that have risen the most up the rankings in the last few years and we would discover some of the most impressive performances have been put in by Shoosmiths and Osborne Clarke, as well as a whole host of US-headquartered firms like Kirkland, Debevoise, Goodwin and White & Case.

We could look at the law firms with the highest percentages of high-performing women, and we could praise Bindmans, Hodge Jones & Allen and Trowers & Hamlins for being the leaders in that respect.

I look forward to sharing more of this data with you at our launch on the 20 October. 

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Chambers UK

With the most comprehensive view of the UK legal market and the top law firms and lawyers working, the Chambers UK guide is the market leading resource for those looking to buy legal services.