Lawyer faces new ASA rap after rivals complaint

The Lawyer is expected to come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority next week after a rival disputed a claim that it is produced by an "award-winning" editorial team.

Legal Week, which was launched by former Lawyer staffers, also objects to a claim that The Lawyer is "the only legal magazine that sees strong news and features indivisible within the editorial product".

It is understood the ASA has upheld both complaints.

The Lawyer argued that its "award-winning" boast – which appeared in a media sales pack – was based on the results of internal awards held by its publisher, Centaur Communications, and judged by a panel of the company’s senior executives. It submitted names of recent judges and a list of award-winning journalists from 1997 to 2000. The results showed that a journalist from The Lawyer had been named "Best News Journalist" in 2000 and the magazine had won an award for "Best Editorial Team" in 1999.

But the ASA is understood to have ruled the claim was misleading as it implied the awards had been judged by an independent panel.

The Lawyer also argued it was more committed to writing investigative features than its competitors.

The ASA’s ruling is expected to acknowledge that The Lawyer combined strong news and features but had not proved it was the only magazine to do so.

The ASA upheld five complaints against The Lawyer in October 1999 over claims made in its sales pack. Again, it was Legal Week which made the complaints.


By Ruth Addicott

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