I love legal ratings agencies. They make it easy to forget we are part of a profession and pretend for a second that we work in an ~industry~. I take nothing away from anyone who’s been the subject of one of these Legal 500 or Doyle’s Guide or Chambers and Partners assessments (or, heaven forfend, LawFuel’s Power List…). It is only proper we should recognise achievement when we see it. That’s why everyone gets a medal in the Weetbix Kiwi Kids Tryathlon.
There is a strange sort of language in the assessments the agencies use: people are key players, they are heavy hitters, everyone is described with breathless positivity. The whole thing is an exercise in seduction aimed at the competitive pathologies that most lawyers (myself included) do their best to conceal. And if I’m being honest they are a sort of a privatised silk list, when for unexamined reasons I don’t have a problem with the idea of Queen’s Counsel.
Still, the shape of the sentences, the familiar adjectives, these descriptions are all so readily at hand that there really shouldn’t be anything stopping any of us getting a comment from an agency. Introducing Obiter Legal Rankings – the only professional legal ratings scheme which recognises that we all have talents, probably, and refuses to let individuality get in the way of a generic compliment.
An astute operator who has got what it takes and who brings a wise objectivity.