Chambers & Partners has relaunched its series of bespoke client research reports for law firms as Chambers Unpublished.
According to Chambers Confidential editor, Alex Marsh, the relaunched reports will offer improvements such as new comparative components.
Originally launched in 2009 as Chambers Confidential, the company has produced 1,000 reports for 500 law firms, including 20 of the world’s top 25 firms.
There has always been demand from law firms for more detailed information that goes beyond the short passages of text that appear under each firm in each directory section.
What you see published in the directory is only a tiny percentage of the information that Chambers has behind the scenes, and could potentially publish.
So the customized reports are a way of making some of that extra research available to law firms – for a fee, of course – who themselves put huge effort into the process in the first place by assembling detailed written submissions and supplying Chambers with details of client references.
In my opinion, Chambers Confidential has been the most successful of Chambers’ product launches in the last decade.
Although numerous other research companies and agencies offer bespoke client surveys for law firms, Chambers is uniquely positioned in that law firms already supply Chambers with client information directly.
For most other companies that want to assemble hard-to-get market data or intelligence, they have to gather it themselves or pay someone to do it for them.
Chambers, however, receives tens of thousands of client names, email addresses and phone numbers as part of its ongoing directory research, so law firms in effect help to build Chambers’ own client database.
Because of its brand, developed through the directories, it then has ready access to thousands of important buyers of legal services.
In the early days of Chambers Confidential, the reports were a bit hit and miss: some were good, some not so much.
The quality of them depended largely on the information that Chambers had at its fingertips.
If not much was on their system from the original research done into that section, then the report wouldn’t shed any great new light.
On the other hand, sometimes there was lots of valuable extra detail included in the reports.
In recent years, the quality of the reports has improved.
That’s because Chambers has expanded.
It now publishes more directories, more sections, has a larger research team, and conducts more client interviews.
Therefore, there is more material for the report writers to work with.
Law firms often ask me if Chambers Confidential is worth buying.
The reports aren’t cheap, and law firms are sometimes nervous about splashing out for them because they’re not sure if it will be worthwhile.
Each firm is different, but generally, they are worth the cost.
I’ve read lots of Chambers Confidential reports, and they can be a real treasure trove of information that would otherwise be hard to obtain.
Mind you, marketing directors must treat the reports with care, and not share them too widely.
They can be hard-hitting and the raw, unvarnished comments can make tough reading for some.