Canadian Lawyer Top Regional Firms/Top Boutiques Surveys Methodology and process

The survey link is sent out through our Canadian Legal Newswire list, and is available on Eligible to vote are lawyers and in-house counsel across Canada, who we focus on through our outreach, but others, i.e. clients or referral sources, who follow the rules of voting for the minimum number of firms in each category, will have their vote count. The process followed by Canadian Lawyer’s editorial team entails:

  1. A long list of notable firms in each area of specialty, or full-service firms in each defined region, is compiled by our editorial team – it typically includes past incumbents, new firms identified since the last survey and firms nominated by readers who have requested their inclusion in future surveys.
  2. An online survey is designed and made available to the Canadian Lawyer audience asking peers and clients to rank the firms and provide comments supporting their rankings. 
  3. Lawyers can vote for both their own firm and their peers in other firms. Clients can vote as well but their votes will only count if they follow the voting rules as set out with each survey/question.
  4. Survey participants are invited to select up to either five or 10 firms (depending on the category), listed in order of preference from one to 5/10 (with one being their top-ranked firm). The survey does not allow the attribution of the same ranking to more than one firm.
  5. A survey participant may nominate additional firms that do not appear on the long list but that they believe should be considered and attribute a ranking number to that firm in the space provided.
  6. In order for a vote to count, survey participants must rank the minimum number of firms as set out in the survey.
  7. First-place votes are scored at 10 points, second place at nine points, third place at eight points, etc.
  8. The quantitative survey results are checked for accuracy and voting abnormalities. Responses not ranking the minimum number of firms will be disqualified.
  9. The quantitative results are combined with feedback from respected senior members of the bar and in-house counsel when applicable to finalize each top 5/10 list.
  10. The final list of firms is presented alphabetically or in ranked order, based the discretion of Canadian Lawyer’s editorial team, along with an accompanying article speaking to top trends and developments in the areas of law practised by the boutiques.
  11. Survey results and responses are completely confidential and used only in aggregate. Some comments may be published as part of the short editorial description of each boutique, but are not attributed to a respondent.
  12. Survey participants will see a message in paragraph format to describe the survey process.*

*The above methodology may be subject to change year-over-year