Few would have imagined back in 1988 just how The Legal 500 would develop.
The Legal 500, the brainchild of solicitor John Pritchard, was the first qualitative assessment of the legal market place to be published and it proved a watershed provision of information about UK law firms.
The book was a huge success with both clients and law firms alike.
Clients welcomed the marker analysis which facilitated legal services buying decisions. Law firms valued the guide as a benchmarking tool, and also as both a recruitment and marketing vehicle.
The beauty of the book was that it was the first guide to combine in one place independent research evaluating strengths of the different firms with contact information.
The Times referred to The Legal 500 as 'the bible' for selecting law firms. Of course, it came as little surprise that others, recognising the merit of the book, copied the concept to produce their own versions.
As far as the publishers of The Legal 500 are concerned, however, competition is no bad thing and this has ensured that the book has continually improved over the years.
A commitment to resources in the research team - more than 25 editorial researchers are now involved in each edition - has meant that the research goes to greater depths across a wider range of practice areas and geographical locations than ever before.
The Legal 500 goes from strength to strength. 2003's edition, just published, is the 16th.
For more information, contact the publishers Legalese 28-33 Cato Street, London W1H 5JL. Tel. (020) 7396-9292. Fax: (020) 7396-9300. DX: 44412 Marble Arch.