The rating of lawyers: personal development tool, transparency requirement or an invitation to public bashing?


By Xavier Gillot, on 15/01/2019 19:24 in Home > Toolbox > Multidisciplinary templates & tips > The rating of lawyers: personal development tool, transparency requirement or an invitation to public bashing?

The debate around lawyers’ ranking attracts a lot of attention from the profession as well as from the respective Bar associations, in Belgium or abroad, and was the topic of a very interesting debate at the occasion of the third Electrochoc numérique organized on December 13.

As a general conclusion, it was unanimously recognized that such rating is already existing and a true reality: business lawyers are ranked since decades by pretended expert-guides and the emergence of new players on the markets (google, etc.) sufficiently evidence that such rating becomes unavoidable.

Even though the question may frighten, it offers a great opportunity to provide an adequate answer to client’s expectations by putting modern learning, professionalization and sharing tools in place.

Websites and platforms offering a rating based on lawyer’s financial contributions are definitively to be banished and tarnish both lawyers and internet service providers’ reputations.

But an extra mile should even be reached: any ranking should indeed be based on clear and comprehensible factors, communicated to the users. Also, the requirements deriving from our professional secrecy and the right for the noted lawyer to answer must be addressed, as well as the delicate question of clients’ ability to properly assess the quality of an intervention that, in most cases, will involve technicalities beyond their competences; modern lawyers become so specialized that it would be unrealistic to expect clients being able to judge the technical skills of their counsel’s work.

But is the expectation really situated at that level and if so, what would then be the true value of such a ranking?

The best example is for sure the one of a negative decision rendered by a jurisdiction and regarding which a client could be willing to complain and pretend that the lawyer did a very bad job. However, those having some experiences with Courts will certainly confirm that many reasons may explain such a negative decision, even with the best lawyer handling the case.

In this case, and regarding the question at stake, the real issue is rather a clear and comprehensive communication between the lawyer and its client than the judge’s decision. Because a properly informed client, with whom the lawyer collaborates and communicates in full transparency and trust, will take the right decisions that will avoid such misunderstandings or deceptions.

This is the reason why uLaw expressed its favorable opinion for a rating tool based both on objective elements from the lawyer’s career and on clients’ feedback, not regarding their skills as technical legal practitioner, but as counsel having participated in the delivery of a useful solution. The rating tool developed by uLaw was elaborated on the basis of these principles, in addition to the moderation of client’s feedbacks which warrants a constructive ranking, free of any parasite or obviously humiliating opinions.

Join us on uLaw to discover the various solutions offered to ensure successful and satisfactory partnerships between clients and lawyers.

Author

Xavier Gillot

Business lawyer specialized in the entire range of Belgian and international tax matters, I provide solution-oriented advices to my clients and also represent them during fiscal and judicial proceedings, negotiations or ruling procedures.
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