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The Anniversary 50 Leading Law Firms of Ukraine research program presents a record number of outstanding members of the legal profession


The all-Ukrainian annual research program 50 Leading Law Firms of Ukraine is celebrating a jubilee this year, the twentieth time that we are naming the leaders of the domestic legal services market.

Year in year out, capturing all the achievements of the law firms practicing in Ukraine, the  50 leading law firms of Ukraine research provides a comprehensive picture of the development of the Ukrainian legal services market and the place of individual players in it. And every year new pages are added to the chronicle of the market and new names are revealed. This year is no  exception – for the first time we name the top hundred leaders of the market.

Due to the applied methodology used the 50 leading law firms of Ukraine research program  can be considered unique not only for the domestic market, as the greatest possible number of representative indicators are taken into account including the expert evaluation by points of the firm place in the market of legal services. The methodology of the research, which has been improved over many years, provides confidence that casual firms cannot be included in the list of the best ones and the position of each participant in general corresponds to its actual position in the market. Even in the boutique segments of practice the relative position of the law firms corresponds to their market share.

It should be noted that over the 20 years of the research the rules were corrected several times; responding to remarks from the market the organizers improved the methodology by adding new criteria enabling the determining of the position held by each law firm more accurately and objectively. Indeed, to get a true picture of the market using only quantitative indicators is not possible, particularly due to the information privacy of market participants, which keep not only their revenues and clients in secret, but even the number of lawyers they employ.

Market leaders are defined by a number of established criteria: the number of lawyers, profitability, complexity of the accompanied transactions and lawsuits, and financial efficiency. The reputation of a particular law firm in a professional environment is also taken into account. The position of a law firm in the summary table 50 leading law firms of Ukraine, Bronze League (which is another 50 law firms) and the regional listing is determined by its ranking calculated on the basis of the above indicators using weighted ratios. Leaders in the separate industrial practices are announced on the basis of the research Ukrainian Law Firms 2016. A Handbook for Foreign Clients.

We are receptive to the strict requirements of confidentiality of certain information provided by law firms and do not divulge information disclosed exclusively for the purpose of calculation. The data which is not subject to publication is hidden behind the ‘ND’ abbreviation. However, we consider it possible to disclose such information as, for example, the firm's profitability and its financial productivity determined by us in accordance with the established methodology or obtained from public sources.

Privacy rules are also applied to the practical activities of law firms – the largest transactions and lawsuits/arbitration cases; only public projects are included in the corresponding tables.

The research period covers QIV of 2015 and QI-III of 2016. All data is aggregated using weighted ratios, the value of which relates to commercial information and cannot be disclosed. In evaluating the performance of law firms a common approach was used, and in this respect all the participants of the research found themselves in equal conditions. The ratios are chosen in such a manner as to integrate financial indicators, the scale of a law firm’s practices and its professional reputation into the summary table in the most natural way.

The reputation criterion is intended to smooth the variations in the monetary and other quantitative indicators and to balance the position of law firms in the summary table: no matter how big the income of a law firm and how large the number of lawyers employed, the absence of reputation points (both the general reputation of the firm and reputation in the context of individual practices was evaluated) significantly affects the final indicators.

At the final stage experts of the legal services market were involved in order to verify and, if necessary, adjust the interim results of the rating. Experts performed qualitative assessment of the rating. At the same time, according to the rules established, the experts cannot change the position of more than 15 law firms the result of which, in their view, need to be adjusted, and the maximum rise or fall of the position in the table should not exceed ten positions. After that the assessments of experts were generalized and the adjustment factors for each law firm indicated by them were calculated. The accuracy and objectivity of expert assessment is achieved by means of privacy – the names of experts become known (including to other experts) concurrently with the publication of the results of the 50 Leading Law Firms of Ukraine study. Project experts also provided their comments regarding the situation in the legal services market and forecasts of its development.