Not just “the best” – however, you define that – in absolute terms.
But someone who is most suitable for your engagement – who is best for me or my company?
Less of a vanity play, and more of a match making service.
In my opinion, this is the biggest disconnect between what legal directory publishers produce, and what buyers of legal services actually want.
Sure, it’s good to know who’s top of the tree, but that star M&A lawyer or premier employment law expert is not much help if your company turns over $5 million a year.
He concluded that someone should rank lawyers on a value basis.
“If you’re not ranked by Lexpert, are you a terrible lawyer? Obviously not. In fact, you may be the best lawyer in Canada at your specialty. Maybe you’re a technical dynamo, but disinterested in selling yourself.”
I come across these lawyers all the time in my business – they’re often brilliant and would sit comfortably in many of the “best” lists and tiered rankings – but they practice at firms who don’t do much marketing (or marketing to directories), or they market by just “doing” – by being as good as they can be, and letting the rest take care of itself.
However thorough a directory’s methodology, there will always be these diamonds in the rough that lie undiscovered.
There are a lot more of them than you think.
Of course, they’re harder to find for the directory publishers.
It involves more legwork, and taking an investigative approach – not waiting for a carefully prepared submission to drop into your lap, or taking a call from an eager PR rep.
The mid-market is the hardest segment of the market to research because it’s fluid and competitive.
Lawyers at big law firms like to boast about “bet the company” matters, but smaller and mid-sized matters can be just as complex, even more so – it’s just that the numbers on paper are smaller.
And there’s often more at stake, because if the privately-held farm goes under, a family’s livelihood is potentially destroyed, whereas if a CEO at a large public company pulls off a terrible merger, he lies low for a while, and re-emerges at another Fortune company on a multi-million dollar salary.
As Dykstra says:
“Clients need smart, experienced lawyers to help them successfully navigate those “small” transactions. Not, “this is the Most Frequently Recommended M&A lawyer”, but “this is the Most Frequently Recommended M&A lawyer that can do a $5 million acquisition file for less than $100,000 in fees.” That would allow potential clients to gauge both competency and value when choosing their advocates.”