As the Best Lawyers® selection criteria explains:
Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant.
Lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments we conduct with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.
Best Lawyers® began designating “Lawyers of the Year” in the U.S. in high-profile legal practice areas in 2009. Since then, this honor has been extended to many other countries where the Best Lawyers peer-review process is conducted as well.