How rankings for the largest law firms are made

Methodology of rankings explained.

Rankings are created by objective and measurable criteria: turnover, profit, number of attorneys and number of clerks, as well as points for deals for which the law firm received a reward more than €20,000 (reward €20,000-50,000 equals 1 point), reward more than €50,000 equals 1.5 points).

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The exact sum of the reward is, however, not available, since it is sensitive information that the law firms protect as trade secrets.

Transnational rankings also analyse the deal value, but in Slovak circumstances, this criterion might not come across as objective.

“In the past, we have repeatedly noticed that Slovak law firms reported among their deals large cross-border or international transactions of high value, while in fact they only participated to a small extent on them, such as providing due diligence of a Slovak-based company or implementation,” said publisher of The Slovak Spectator Ján Pallo, who is in charge of the methodology of the ranking.

Deal value is particularly noted only in the litigation agenda. Lawyers were, however, able to report deal value in their public references (with no impact on their ranking), which served as the basis for articles about last year's and this year’s deals.

Factors for main categories

The ranking in the main three categories (Largest Law Firm, Largest International Law Firm and Largest Local Law Firm) was created based on six factors (the number of lawyers and number of deals for 2021; average revenues and profits for years 2019-2021). These six factors have been assigned the following weight:

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  • number of attorneys (30% weight)
  • number of law graduates practising longer than 3 years (16% weight)
  • number of law graduates practising less than 3 years (8% weight)
  • sales revenue (23% weight)
  • net profit (7% weight)
  • points for deals for which the law firm received a reward more than €20,000 (reward €20,000-50,000 equals 1 point), reward more than €50,000 equals 1.5 points) (16% weight)

Factors for partial categories

The ranking in partial categories (M&A, Banking & Finance, Real estate & development) was created based on five factors derived from 2021 data, to which we gave different weights:

  • points for deals from a relevant category for which the law firm received a reward more than €20,000 (reward €20,000-50,000 equals 1 point, reward more than €50,000 equals 1.5 points) (70% weight)
  • sales revenues (10% weight)*
  • number of attorneys (10% weight)*
  • number of associates practising more than 3 years (6% weight)*
  • number of associates practising less than 3 years (4% weight)*.

* these factors reflect also the proportion of each firm’s hours spent on this category

The ranking in the partial category Litigation & Arbitration was influenced by these factors derived from 2021 data:

  • number of points for active deals with regard to their deal value (DV) (85% weight): DV €1-5 mil. (1 point), DV €5-10 mil. (2 points), DV €10-50 mil. (3 points), DV €50-100 mil. (4 points), DV more than €100 mil. (5 points), DV more than €1 mil. /NA with 2021 reward €20,000-50,000 (1 point), DV more than €1 mil. / NA with 2021 reward more than €50,000 (1.5 points)
  • sales revenues (5% weight)*
  • number of attorneys (5% weight)*
  • number of associates practising more than 3 years (3% weight)*
  • number of associates practising less than 3 years (2% weight)*.

* these factors reflect also the proportion of each firm’s hours spent on this category

The ranking in the partial category Intellectual Property, Labour Law, Regulation & Compliance, Competition Law and Commercial Contracts was created based on five factors derived from 2021 data, to which we gave different weights:

  • points for deals from IP category for which the law firm received a reward more than €20,000 points (reward €7,000-20,000 equals 0.7 point, reward €20,000-50,000 equals 1 point, reward more than €50,000 equals 1.5 points) (70% weight)
  • sales revenues (10% weight)*
  • number of attorneys (10% weight)*
  • number of associates practising more than 3 years (6% weight)*
  • number of associates practising less than 3 years (4% weight)*.

* these factors reflect also the proportion of each firm’s hours spent on this category

The ranking in the partial category Restructuring & Insolvency was influenced by these factors derived from 2021 data:

  • number of points for active deals with regard to their deal value (DV) (85% weight): DV €3-5 mil. (1 point), DV €5-10 mil. (2 points), DV €10-50 mil. (3 points), DV €50-100 mil. (4 points), DV more than €100 mil. (5 points), DV more than €3 mil. /NA with 2021 reward €20,000-50,000 (1 point), DV more than €3 mil. / NA with 2021 reward more than €50,000 (1.5 points)
  • sales revenues (5% weight)*
  • number of attorneys (5% weight)*
  • number of associates practising more than 3 years (3% weight)*
  • number of associates practising less than 3 years (2% weight)*.

* these factors reflect also the proportion of each firm’s hours spent on this category

Some deals were cross-sectional (e.g. the sale of a property via a share deal can be put in the partial category M&A or Real Estate) and it was up to the law firm to decide on the final partial category. Each deal could be mentioned only once in only one category.

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