04 May 2018

Pinsent Masons squeezes into top spot amongst UK law firm brands

Competition tightens amongst UK law firms, though alternative providers increase their competitive threat

Acritas’ seventh annual UK Law Firm Brand Index sees Pinsent Masons take the number one spot for the very first time, squeezing past Eversheds Sutherland by two points. This year’s index is one of the most competitive, with the top ten separated by the fewest number of points in the Index’s history.

Smallest of margins
Pinsent Masons is the strongest brand in the UK, overtaking four-time leader Eversheds Sutherland by the smallest of margins. Compared to the overall UK picture, Pinsent Masons stands out to clients for its responsiveness, good working relationships and fulfilling promises to deliver results. The firm who made the most progress this year is CMS. Jo Aitken, Director of Acritas said: “The firm has disrupted the top 10 by climbing an impressive nine ranks since their merger to claim fourth.” Linklaters remains the top firm for both financial institutions and London-based buyers while Herbert Smith Freehills keeps top spot for litigation. Acritas reports the UK legal market remains buoyant with considerable increases in legal spend from buyers with international needs.

Alternative providers
This year’s survey has also been capturing data on alternative legal service brands for the first time, providing evidence for the rising threat of non-law firm brands in the legal space. According to Acritas, 30% of UK businesses anticipate reducing their overall external legal budget in the next 12 months. Thomson Reuters claims top spot as the strongest alternative legal service provider in the UK, particularly for its legal know-how tool Practical Law. PwC legal and Deloitte legal are named the next two strongest brands. A short video of Jo Aitken analysing the data can be viewed here