The first issue, available online for free, centers on the world’s leading private funds lawyers – in and out house.
Clients such as general counsel, chief operating officers, and the heads of investor relations at global funds, will receive a hard copy of the guide.
They can also be ordered from Lawdragon.
Insights is a hybrid publication that combines elements of a magazine, research report, and legal directory – with factual data, editorial analysis of law firms, and articles on legal developments.
Interviews with in-house counsel sits alongside question-and-answer exchanges with private practice lawyers specializing in funds.
She was assisted by another Chambers alumnus, Catherine Rodgers.
Catherine’s background at Chambers is partly evident in the guide’s approach, which was based on independent research among corporate counsel and buyers of funds-related legal services.
However, the similarities end there.
There are (sensibly, in my opinion) no rankings as such – although firms are divided into a “main list” of the top 15 funds practices at private law firms, and a second group of “honorable mentions”.
Overall, more than 200 of the world’s top advisors to private funds are featured, mostly from well known US and UK-based law firms.
As well as the established names, younger lawyers and associates are included – a request from clients, according to Catherine, who said that they were keen to learn more about the names they didn’t know so much about.
Reflecting the US media influence, the slick photography, high production values, and in-depth writing are strong points of the guide, and make it stand out from the more soberly presented publications typical of this genre.
Law firms receive a generous level of editorial coverage in the guide, which is almost 150 pages long.
The response from law firms appears to have been favorable, and some of them such as Cleary Gottlieb have already announced their inclusion in the guide.
Catherine, who has worked full time on the guide since November 2013, said that there are three “entry points” for readers: editorial commentary, data factsheets, and questions and answers.
She told me that “this is a truly independent guide that marries legal journalism with a legal directory in a completely new way. The coverage of the area is much more detailed and nuanced than you would normally find in other legal publications.”
Catherine said that Lawdragon worked closely with in-house counsel to develop the template and style of the product.
And she stressed that there was no pay-to-play/advertorial.
There is traditional page advertising but it’s disconnected from the research, which is conducted independently to produce the editorial commentary.
The next Insights guide will focus on data security and privacy.
Work on that began this month, and it is due to be published in September 2014.
Further ahead, Catherine told me they were looking at private equity M&A, cross-border litigation, and possibly securitization – although these have yet to be confirmed.
Elsewhere at Lawdragon, the company plans to launch Lawdragon Campus in 2014 to provide information on legal education for consumers.
Earlier this year, Lawdragon announced the names of its annual Lawdragon 500.
Lawdragon was founded by former lawyer and California Daily Journal editor Katrina Dewey, in 2005.
In June 2013, the company opened a London office to add to its presence in New York and Los Angeles.
(Pictured: Catherine McGregor and Katrina Dewey of Lawdragon, London, September 2013)