Law firm and barrister with top High Court win rates to be named by US analysts

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3 July 2015

Ian Dodd

Dodd: clients are interested in “winning or losing”

The barrister and law firm with the top High Court win rates in England and Wales will be named later this month, Legal Futures has learned.

US website Premonition, which has studied the win rates of attorneys across America, is to publish the names after studying 11,600 High Court cases over the past three years.

Toby Unwin, co-founder of Florida-based Premonition, said the report would cover every law firm which instructed a barrister in the High Court in the last three years, along with the 1,500 barristers who had acted for them.

“If your clients know how good you are, you can charge more,” Mr Unwin said. “The top 20 people will get very expensive, but right now some of the best people are not being compensated.

“This is going to be disruptive, but if people get on board with it and start marketing themselves using statistics, they can get ahead of the competition.”

Mr Unwin said the win rate for the law firm would be a combined figure for all the barristers and solicitor-advocates it had used during the period.

Ian Dodd, an independent consultant to barristers’ chambers, became a director of Premonition last month. “Some barristers blame things on the complexity of the case, and I’m sure clients have enormous sympathy, but at the end of the day they are interested in winning or losing,” he said.

“Barristers talk all the time about quality, but there is a lack of quantitative evidence to show how good a barrister is. Now, for the first time, you have proper numbers which have been analysed. They don’t follow the logic you would think.

“Some barristers might have less experience of the High Court, but higher win rates. Others might get hired more by law firms despite having lower win rates than their rivals.”

Mr Dodd, former chief executive of Peel Court Chambers in Manchester, said Premonition had a “very positive” meeting with the Legal Services Board earlier this week.

He said one of reasons law firms were unlikely to have carried out research into win rates was that barristers billed firms by name, not by chambers, and it was difficult for firms to track 50 barristers.

“The numbers tell you all sorts of interesting things which you might think were not the case.”

Legal Futures first reported that Premonition was researching the performance of UK advocates in the Court of Appeal at the end of last year.

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