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Best Law Firms in Sydney

Choosing the best law firms in Sydney isn’t for the faint-hearted. Law firms, like any business, are made up of people, and in the case of legal practices, the lawyers within them.

At Law By Dan, we crunch the numbers from multiple ranking platforms and give you the best chance of finding not only the best law firms in Sydney but the best lawyers in Sydney based on a wide range of criteria.

Why do we assess a number of review platforms and each lawyer’s standing by their relevant governing organisation (the relevant law society)? Because we believe that there is no one singular website that gives you a well-rounded view of who actually are the best lawyers in Sydney.

But in making that decisive decision of who are the best law firms in Sydney for your legal matter, let’s set out the key criteria for making the best decision.

Top Law Firms Sydney

A very big thing needing to be understood is that in finding the best law firms in Sydney is the practice areas that they provide and more importantly, ensuring that the law firm has lawyers who focus solely on one area of law.

Think of this distinction as considering a medical specialist. For example, you do not want your GP conducting heart surgery on you. The same applies to lawyers, if you have a legal issue make sure you choose a lawyer who only practices law in that one area (at most two).

Do not consult with a lawyer who practices many areas of law because, to put it bluntly, they will not be across the relevant area of law to the degree that they should be.

The first criteria in finding the best lawyers in Sydney is by choosing one that practices in one area only, at most two, but it must relate to the primary practice area.

Practically speaking, that means that if you have a family law issue, your preferred lawyer does only family law, and possibly a related area like, mediation. Choosing a family lawyer who also does criminal law would probably not be a smart choice.

The next very important distinction is to ensure that your issue relates to a specific area of law that your preferred lawyer has expertise and experience.

You have a surrogacy law issue. That area of law falls under the ambit of “family law.” However, the far majority of family lawyers would not be across the massive complexities in surrogacy law which often can include knowledge of international surrogacy laws as well. The risk in this case is that you consult with a family lawyer, but without your knowledge, they do not have the depth of expertise and experience in surrogacy law to best serve you.

So, this is why you must read on. At Law By Dan, we will identify the best lawyer for the practice area and sub-set of that practice area if necessary.

Let’s look at some other things that you’ll need to know in finding the best lawyers in Sydney.

Finding the Best Lawyers in Sydney

Lawyers are not homogenous. In other words, like in every profession, there are those that are simply smarter than others. In assessing the smarts, at  Law By Dan, we dive into one definitive measure in assessing how smart your potential lawyer is. In that regard, we go straight to the New South Wales Law Society to find out who they consider the best lawyers in Sydney based on the level of experience, expertise, and standing by that organisation.

Every law society in Australia benchmarks the best lawyers by those who are deemed to be Accredited Specialists. This is a very important thing to understand. Becoming an Accredited Specialist is a very challenging process. To put it bluntly, most lawyers who try to become Accredited Specialists fail the test. It’s a grueling academic process that requires lawyers to meet the eligibility requirements to apply, that being based on experience, expertise, and what their clients think of them. If all these factors line up, then the relevant lawyer will have the ability to apply to become an Accredited Specialist.

Broadly speaking, an organised peer evaluation method that enables practitioners to be recognised as experts in their chosen field of practice is known as Specialist Accreditation. Lawyers who successfully complete the Program’s criteria are permitted to use the designation ‘Accredited Specialist’ after their names in the field of practice that they have chosen.

The purpose of the Accredited Specialisation is that it helps the general public and the legal profession distinguish between lawyers who have proven skill in a particular field of law and those who have not.

The Specialist Accreditation Program seeks to accomplish the following goals:

  • Provision of a reliable means for practitioners to be identified as having proven expertise in their chosen area of practice;
  • Contribution to and encouragement of the continuous development, improvement, and delivery of legal services;
  • Promotion of the advancement of legal education and knowledge and skills; and
  • Provide practitioners with the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise in their chosen area of practice, and for this to be recognised by the legal profession.

It goes without saying that in choosing the best law firms in Sydney for your legal matter, you must consider whether or not your potential lawyer is in fact an Accredited Specialist.

If nothing else, by ensuring your lawyer is in fact an Accredited Specialist you can rest assure they know their stuff.

At Law By Dan, when we aggregate the data, this is the first thing we consider. We want to make sure that the best lawyers in Sydney that you’re considering are Accredited Specialists.

Law Firms Sydney

In Australia, there is one platform that you can best the best lawyers in Sydney want to be on and that’s Doyle’s Guide.

Doyle’s Guide is a review business that essentially reviews the best lawyers in Sydney and the best law firms in Sydney (as well as every other location in Australia) by predominantly using peer review by other lawyers who hold them up to be worthy of an award.

Now you may think that having a lawyer’s colleagues rank them might be biased, the thing you need to understand is that law is adversarial in nature. In other words, for every legal issue of which a lawyer is involved, there is an opposing lawyer. In light of this, lawyers quickly learn among themselves who is in fact, a better lawyer than others. Consequently, peer reviews are based on this type of approach, among other factors.

So, in determining the best law firms in Sydney, the same approach is applied, but at a broader scale.

Obviously, we do not fully know the full extent of ranking factors that are used by Doyles Guide in working out who are the best law firms in Sydney, but what we do know is the profession treats these awards as being a fairly accurate determinant in identifying the best lawyers and law firms.

Accordingly, in helping you find the best law firms in Sydney for your legal matter, we also take into strong consideration Doyles Guide. We should also mention, in some practice areas we also consider the international review platform, Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers.

What Clients Say are the Best Law Firms in Sydney

One important consideration in identifying the best lawyers is to consider what their clients say about them. Client reviews are fundamentally important, but they also need to be weighed among other factors as well. For example, if you’re a lawyer who is easygoing and builds rapport easily with clients, but your expertise and experience in the relevant area of law is not up to scratch, that may be lost to many clients. Sure, you still may receive a good ranking, but that ranking may be out weighted by the personal attributes of that lawyer, rather than their skill set. In other words, your lawyer is a really nice guy and got you a pretty good result, so they get 5 stars. That might not be an accurate assessment of how good that lawyer really is.

Another very important consideration is that the far majority of law firms do not actively request that their clients post reviews on relevant websites. We have assessed outstanding law firms that do not have a large body of publicly available client reviews.

Also, some law firms may smartly request a client review at a juncture in the legal matter that is a high, rather than a low. For example, a compensation law firm may send a client a review request following an assessment of how much compensation they may be entitled to. Consequently, the client feels very happy, the service thus far is great and they base their review on those things. 12 months later, the client receives half the compensation she expected and if asked for a review now, may have a very different opinion.

One very important thing to consider when basing your decisions just on a review website is, are those reviews legitimately sourced from real clients.

For example, on Firmchecker there is no comprehensive check to ensure that the reviewer is in fact a legitimate client or former client. This is similarly the case on other review platforms like Google and Facebook.

Based on this, to help you find the best law firms in Sydney, we do take into consideration what clients say, but we balance it out with other very important key factors like those discussed above.

In making this assessment on this factor, we consult heavily with other review websites, like Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews and FirmChecker.

Why Law By Dan Cross-Checks Everything

Despite what individual websites or review platforms tell you, they can individually fall short in considering other key ranking factors. Here is a practical example that may assist you in understanding the importance of this.

In 2022, Doyle’s Guide determined based on extensive peer reviews that the best family law firm is Sydney is Barkus Doolan.

But when we extrapolate that law firm among other factors, other things come into play.

For example, on Google Reviews they have a rating of 4.1 stars out of 5, based on only 16 reviews.

They have no Facebook reviews, because they are not on Facebook.

They are listed on Firmchecker, but have no reviews.

They are a law firm who have 16 family lawyers, 9 of which are Accredited Specialists.

Doyles Guide deems the second-best family law firm in Sydney as Barry.Niilson

On Google, 3.5 ranking based on 26 reviews.

On Facebook, 4.4 ranking based on 7 reviews.

Listed on Firmchecker, but no rankings.

They have 20 family lawyers, 12 of which are Accredited Family Law Specialists.

In essence, if you were judging these law firms on one measure only, or by visiting only one website or platform, you may fall short of forming a true assessment of this law firm.

Who are the Best Law Firms in Sydney?

We’ve crunched the number and assessed the best law firms in Sydney based on the above criteria.

To ensure that your legal matter is being handled by the most competent law firm in Sydney, contact Law By Dan.