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About Us & Methodology

Best Firms & Lawyers

The content within and the listing of best firms and lawyers is compiled on the back of initial online peer-based surveys as well as extensive telephone and face to face interviews with clients, peers and relevant industry bodies.

Our research is focused on clients and legal practitioners. Publication timelines for each practice area and/or jurisdiction can be viewed here.

Most of our Personal Services Areas (Family, Crime, Estates Litigation) are compiled on by way of peer based survey and review.  The Personal Injuries rankings are compiled by feedback from defendant insurance solicitors.

At the end of our research individuals and firms are ranked according to their respective point allocation.  The distinction between tiers of firms and bands of individuals is performed by way of editorial discretion.  Such editorial discretion is exercised in light of:

      1. Any clear numerical delineation that exists between firms or groups of firms;
      2. Recommendations from significant clients;
      3. Recommendations from significant peers;
      4. The firm’s/individual’s ranking in previous listing of Doyle’s Guide;
      5. Our impression of the individual during our research interview.

All research is compiled on an independent basis.

Any errors or faults within the Guide and its listings are therefore not due to commercial pressures or relationships.

All listings within Doyle’s Guide are displayed in alphabetical order. A position at the top of the list in no way indicates a higher ranking or rating than a ranking at the bottom.

The firm listing contains four categories, namely three “Tiers” and “Recommended”.

The classification of a firm into a particular tier is, more than anything else, a numbers game. Beyond numbers, particularly glowing reports from key clients and individuals can sway the balance of probabilities.

Our “Recommended” firms are those firms who either fell just short of the second and third tiers but who, by way of particular capabilities, make the cut.

The rating of a firm in particular tier is not a definitive classification as to the skills and abilities of each individual legal practitioner within that firm.

Our listings of lawyers utilise four categories; Market Leader, Preeminent, Leading and Recommended.

Our "Market Leader" award is our most prestigious ranking.  It is awarded to an individual who, upon the conclusion of our research into a particular area and market in a given year, stands clearly ahead of their peers.  In markets and/or years where no individual ranks clearly ahead of their peers then no "Market Leader" will be awarded.

Our Preeminent and Leading lawyers are those who consistently draw the praise of both clients and peers. Our “Recommended” lawyers are those who display particular skills or attributes within the area.

We attempt to maintain a degree of consistency across practice areas however this is not always possible and/or reflective of client needs.

In smaller jurisdictions the sample size of clients and practitioners is limited and in those situations where we are unable to obtain a sufficient body of authoritative comment to make a definitive judgment as to the classification of firms and individuals we opt to classify each of these only as “Recommended”.

Negative or disparaging comments are noted and, where relevant, included within editorial comment, however they do not play any part in the compiling of our various rankings.

Firm Participation

Firms are not required to participate in our research. We attempt to speak to not only clients and third parties but also to the senior legal practitioners within firms.

Firms who do wish to provide us with details as to their practice, the lawyers within it and client referees are welcome to do so however we do not invite, request or require any firm to do so. Submission of information on particular practice groups does not affect our rankings of firms in any way.