Methodology and Guidelines

As the world of work continues to evolve and new challenges arise in the post-pandemic era, IEL’s inaugural benchmarking project aims to recognise the best international, regional, national, and boutique practices that have offered market-leading, cutting-edge advice to employers over the past 12 months.

To appear in IEL’s new guide to the world’s leading practices, firms must demonstrate a depth of expertise, market presence, and a high level of advisory, disputes, and transactional work from across the full spectrum of employment and labour law issues.

How to participate

Law firms are invited to participate through a short submission process.

A submission document is available on request. In this first year, the IEL team will accept submission forms completed for other reputable benchmarking publications.

Completed submissions should be emailed by the submission deadline, 29 July 2022.

Follow-up face-to-face or telephone interviews will be arranged where appropriate.

What work to include

Firms are asked to provide a minimum of ten standout instructions from the last year (July 2021 to June 2022), demonstrating a mix of complex contentious and non-contentious work.

When reviewing firms’ submissions, IEL will consider the complexity and value of the work and who the client is. Firms should clearly identify why each matter was important, either to the client, their industry, or the broader employment and labour landscape.

Broadly, the matters relied upon should fall within the following specialisms:

  • Business reorganisation
  • Executive compensation
  • Data protection and privacy
  • Disputes
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Health and safety
  • Immigration and global mobility
  • Incentives and benefits
  • Labour relations
  • Pensions
  • Whistleblowing and investigations

Particular weight will be given to cross-border matters, where applicable.

Confidential information can be provided. However, please ensure that such information is clearly labelled by marking it in red.

Please note that publicly available information may also be used in our editorial even if such information is not included in firms’ submissions.

The IEL team also aims to recognise recent business developments within each practice. This can include, but is not limited to, hires, departures, promotions, and expansion of specialisation, as well as new clients, geographical growth, investment in new technology, and other innovations that benefit employers around the globe.


Should your firm be invited to be interviewed for the research, we would advise one to two leading partners be provided for a maximum one-hour interview. Partners should be prepared to talk about the practices’ standout work and provide observations on market trends and their competitors.

Client referees

In this first year, IEL is not requiring law firms to put forward client referees for interview. However, should any of your clients wish to provide feedback or observations on your firm then they can do so, confidentially, by email up to 28 October 2022.


Unlike other benchmarking publications, in this first year, IEL will highlight practices based on their size and geographic footprint – international, regional, national, and boutique – rather than through a numerical ranking.

Firms with international or regional practices should provide the best work from across their office network. Successful firms will have the work of individual offices recognised in a more substantive editorial where applicable.

Only one submission document is necessary per firm, regardless of the number of offices providing matters for consideration. It is not necessary for every office to provide a full submission.

Research timeline

The deadline for submissions is 29 July 2022.

The research will be undertaken over a three-month period, from 1 August 2022 to 28 October 2022.

IEL’s research findings will be published in November 2022.