Baker McKenzie extends global brand lead to be twice as strong as the closest contender

Acritas’ eighth annual Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index sees Baker McKenzie extend its lead at the top of the table for another year.  

Acritas’ Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2017 is compiled from analysis of an extract of data from the Sharplegal Global Elite survey dataset. All data is derived from 1,074 interviews with respondents, in $1 billion+ revenue organizations across the world, who have senior responsibility for buying legal services. 

A strong US presence and an ability to leverage international relationships are two of the levers driving success for global law firms. Analysis of the rankings this year highlights 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.

 

                          The Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index portrays the competitive set of legal brands, indexed from the leader at 100 points.

 

Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO Acritas, 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 recognized for building global relationships.

Paul Rawlinson, Global Chair, Baker McKenzie, commented: “It’s a huge accolade to take the lead position for the eighth year in a row in the Acritas’ annual Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index. We are driven by a commitment to help our clients succeed which means understanding and anticipating their needs. To maintain and extend our lead in such a crowded market is very pleasing and a reflection of the hard work and dedication of all our people. This recognition is down to all of them and the loyalty and support of our clients.” 

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, who, like Baker McKenzie, is committed to providing that breadth of service across multiple markets. 

There is still a trend for sophisticated clients to consolidate work to a smaller group of firms who can provide that depth and reach. Firms that can provide it all are best placed to become business partners to those organizations. Returning to the top 20 this year is Morgan Lewis, a firm which exemplifies the trends observed in this year’s index.

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.” 

For more information about Acritas and its Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index, please contact: Lizzy Duffy on +1 646 480 5738 or email eduffy@acritas.com  Michelle Nesbitt-Burrell on +44(0) 808 178 3020 or email mnesbitt-burrell@acritas.com

 

Methodology

Acritas’ Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index 2017 is compiled from analysis of an extract of data from the Sharplegal Global Elite survey 2017 dataset. All data is derived from 1,074 interviews with respondents, in $1 billion+ revenue organizations across the world, who have senior responsibility for buying legal services (elite clients).

All interviews were conducted by telephone in local languages across 55 countries between January and August 2017 as part of Acritas’ ongoing Sharplegal survey.

All interviewing was undertaken by Acritas in strict accordance with the rules governing best practice in research. As such, no law firm or other third party had any involvement in selecting sample, analyzing or influencing responses or the Index rankings.

The Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index is determined through four open-ended questions from the full Sharplegal survey to find out from senior legal buyers:

  • The first law firms to come to mind (Awareness)

  • The firms they feel most favorable towards (Favorability)

  • The firms most considered for multi-jurisdictional deals across three or more countries (Consideration)

  • The firms most considered for multi-jurisdictional litigation across three or more countries (Consideration).

The geographic spread of the interviews is determined by three factors: the number of Forbes 2000 companies headquartered, GDP and the average legal spend in each market around the world. 

Incorporating over 50 questions, the full Sharplegal survey is an independent and robust market research study of the current legal market that generates data and insight on law firm brands, usage, market trends, spend, international needs and much more, available by subscription only. To find out more please contact us.

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