2014 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory now online

2014_Lexpert_Directory_CoverThe 2014 annual Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory is now online. Check out which lawyers across Canada have been identified as leading in their areas of practice.

First published in February 1997, this eighteenth annual edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory identifies leading practitioners in over 60 separate Canadian practice areas and leading law firms in over 40  separate Canadian practice areas.

This Lexpert® Directory is intended as a value add for you — sophisticated users and purchasers of legal services. We have designed it to assist you in the decisions involved in the selection of counsel. Ours is the premier Directory of this nature in Canada.

Many practice area sections of the Directory are prefaced by one or more texts prepared by leading practitioners outlining recent caselaw, legislative initiatives, or other developments of importance in the field. The inclusion of these materials is designed to make Lexpert® not only a comprehensive work as to leading firms and practitioners, but also a valuable reference source as to recent developments, thus again enhancing its value to users.

It is true that this Directory mainly focuses on lawyers practising in Canada’s larger cities. For many practice areas, this is partly because that is where the head and regional offices of major corporations and financial institutions are located. We are, however, broadening our horizons in this regard: Lexpert® is paying ever greater attention to lawyers practising in other centres in order to provide users with further assistance — especially in the practice areas where leading lawyers are spread out across the country.

As to our method, the identification of leading firms and practitioners is based upon comprehensive survey work which has taken place across Canada starting in 1994. The research work is continuous in all practice areas and updated versions of Lexpert® are published on an annual basis. Our research team contacts and surveys leading practitioners in all practice areas. Leading practitioners are asked whom they regard as the leading practitioners in their practice area in their city and province and then, to the extent they are able, who they regard as other leading practitioners in the field across Canada.

Initial contacts in the survey process, 20 years ago, commenced with lawyers acknowledged as leaders in their respective fields, lawyers prominent in professional organizations, or lawyers otherwise enjoying significant recognition from their colleagues. In certain practice areas, for example, the views of corporate counsel are extensively canvassed. For future editions, we are considering who else we might best be consulting. On this as with all issues arising from our intention to provide you with an excellent publication/site, we look forward to hearing your input.

The survey work is strictly confidential.

We have enjoyed an unusually high response rate in the survey work with returns generally ranging between 50 and 80 per cent from the targeted population, i.e., leading practitioners. We attribute this success to one principal factor: The survey work does not proceed by way of a random, unsolicited mail-out of questionnaires. Rather, in each case, a member of our research team contacts the practitioner, explains the survey process and secures his or her agreement to complete the questionnaire. A questionnaire is then sent and, if not returned within a set date, follow-up calls are made. Personal interviews with the more senior members of the profession are often conducted in lieu of a completed questionnaire. In some provinces we have not, in a limited number of practice areas, attained the depth or comfort level in completed questionnaires we regard as necessary. Where this is the case, we have simply said so. The approach we have pursued has required a very significant investment of time but has resulted in important contributions from most leading members of the profession and, we believe, provides a generally accurate outline of who are regarded as the foremost firms and practitioners.

During the course of 2013 our research team made 17,923 requests for completed questionnaires from lawyers, corporate counsel, and other professionals. It was not uncommon for a practitioner to be approached on two or more occasions with respect to related practice areas such as banking and insolvency or asset securitization and corporate finance. As a result of the requests made, 8,987 completed questionnaires were received providing us an overall national response rate from law firm practitioners of 81 per cent and from in-house counsel of 3 per cent.

There is one final aspect of the survey process which warrants comment. Again and again we have been struck by the integrity and candour of counsel in identifying who they regard as leading practitioners within their own firm and within other firms. This is, of course, facilitated by the strict anonymity of the process. We thank all of the lawyers and others who took the time to complete these surveys.

This is also an appropriate time to thank the team for this year’s edition which includes our Product Supervisor, Maria Lopez; Production Editors, Alina Leigh, Myvanwy Mackness, Peter Murphy, Jennifer Walker, and Anna Wood.

We believe Lexpert® to be the most comprehensive information package available respecting the provision of legal services in Canada. We hope our publication is of assistance to lawyers, corporate counsel, and other professionals across Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. We, of course, welcome suggestions as to how the Directory may be improved and invite recommendations as to practitioners inadvertently omitted whose work merits their inclusion in our publication.

Jean Cumming, Editor-in-Chief

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