The Times law pages are changing. No longer are they interested in the law, but more so in the business of law. And in doing so, they are increasingly making themselves look foolish. 

First, was its flawed Best Law Firms 2019 directory. Today, it picks a fight with the legal PR and communications teams that feed its pages. 

It accuses legal PRs - and wider business development teams - of effectively being a waste of money. It then suggests that these teams are a weak link in the way law firms manage client relationships.

Why?  Because when its researchers attempted a half-baked version of The Legal 500 and Chambers directories, six law firm PRs shared confidential information. 

Putting aside the directory research process (built over many years and based on trust) - and reading between the lines - one might be forgiven for thinking that The Times law pages do not approve of the increased commercialisation of the law.

Law is big businesses.  Our law firms are some of the most innovative, successful businesses that UK has ever seen.  That has not happen by happy accident. 

Lawyers and the professional management functions they employ work hand in glove to deliver outstanding client service.  

PRs, marketing and business development teams shape the way firms communicate with clients (who remembers the turgid junk most law firms produced 20 or so years ago), the way legal advice is delivered, and in the winning of new work.

Yes of course there is still an element of 'thus and them', but largely limited to older fee-earners rapidly approaching retirement.  

Today's younger lawyers do not make that distinction. They see the value management functions deliver - even if The Times doesn't.