16 October 2017

Baker & McKenzie tops the polls for brand

The global law firm is most recognised by clients in a number of areas whilst runner-up, DLA Piper, benefited from its broad footprint.

International law firm Baker & McKenzie is top of the law firm brands, according to data from Acritas. The firm is followed by DLA Piper with Clifford Chance taking third place. The research, which was compiled from over 1000 interviews with respondents from multinational companies, list law firms which are recognised by clients for brand purposes. A strong US presence and an ability to leverage international relationships are two of the levers driving success for global law firms, according to Acritas CEO Lisa Hart Shepherd. She said that this year's rankings highlighted the increasing strength of firms with a strong US component to their brand. According to data from Acritas, spend on domestic legal services from US companies has been fairly flat over the last ten years, while demand for US legal advice from non-US based multi-nationals has been increasing.

Increased lead

Ms Hart Shepherd said: 'Baker McKenzie continues to dominate on consideration for multi-jurisdictional deals and litigation aided by its vast footprint and widely admired approach to managing global client relationships. This year the firm is twice as strong as the number two ranked brand, increasing its lead for a second year. As a result, firms with both a strong US presence and an international network from which to leverage US work from non-US multi-nationals, have reaped the rewards in terms of brand equity. Jones Day, Sidley and Latham all having made gains in this year’s Index and Baker McKenzie stands out as the firm most recognised for building global relationships.'

Elite clients

Ms Hart Shepherd said that in addition to the US, firms benefit from having a broad international network of offices, together with breadth of services across the globe. The average elite client has legal needs in 28 countries across a wide range of different work-types. 'The firms that feature in the top ten in particular have very broad footprints. It is no surprise that this year’s number two brand is DLA Piper. A firm, which, like Baker McKenzie, is committed to providing that breadth of service across multiple markets.'

Top 10

In order, the top 10 brands are: 1)Baker McKenzie, 2)DLA Piper, 3) Clifford Chance, 4)Jones Day, 4) Norton Rose Fulbright, 6) Hogan Lovells, 7)Allen & Overy, 8) Freshfields, 8) Linklaters and 10)Dentons.

The runner-ups

Outside the top 20 there are eight firms which look set to contest for global brand leadership (in alphabetical order): Ashurst; Cleary Gottlieb; Clyde & Co; Kirkland & Ellis; Mayer Brown; Nishimura & Asahi; Ropes & Gray; and Shearman & Sterling.  According to Lisa 'Each firm has a unique brand strength profile, majoring in different regional or sector market segments. However, those with global leading ambitions will need to ensure they develop their proposition to resonate with clients evolving needs to succeed.' 

Further information

For more information about Acritas and its Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index, email eduffy@acritas.com