Big Four make significant increases in brand strength in 12 months, according to Acritas

Acritas’ second annual Global Alternative Legal Brand Index sees PwC Legal emerge as the new leader in 2018.

New research from legal market experts Acritas reveals the dramatic growth of the Big Four’s legal brands among alternative legal service providers. This Index has been established to identify the strongest brands within this new and rapidly growing part of the broader global legal industry.

Senior in-house counsel were asked to name organizations that provide legal services, excluding law firms, that first to come to mind, along with those they most favored. The Index also shows which service suppliers most demonstrate modern innovative practices.

Acritas created the Global Alternative Legal Brand Index to complement its existing Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index which has been published annually for the last nine years, thereby responding to the increasing diversity of legal service providers that in-house departments turn to to help them provide legal support to their organizations in the most effective and cost-efficient way.

 

The Acritas Global Alternative Legal Brand Index portrays the competitive set of alternative legal brands, indexed from the leader at 100 points.

 

PwC Legal emerges as the strongest alternative legal brand in the second annual Acritas Global Alternative Legal Brand Index. This organization has increased its brand equity in all major regions of the world, including the US, pushing Thomson Reuters, last year’s leader, into second rank.

Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of Acritas, commented: “It’s not just PwC Legal that both old law and new law need to fear. All of the Big Four have seen significant increases in brand strength over the last 12 months.”

Deloitte Legal, has made the largest points increase of any of the alternative legal service providers, moving up one rank into third place, ahead of EY and followed by KPMG Legal in fifth place.

Lisa confirmed: “Despite not seeing brand growth this year, Thomson Reuters has retained its clear lead in being recognized as the most innovative legal services supplier in the world.

Its efforts to continually develop its offering, in all areas of the legal ecosystem, places it far ahead of any other legal services organization on innovation, including law firms.”

Looking beyond the top five ranks, Axiom has slipped one rank to sixth, followed by Lexis Nexis in seventh. Along with Thomson Reuters, these brands have not weakened, it is simply that PwC Legal has set a higher bar at the top of the Index.

Lisa added: “Each of the top seven brands have achieved mega brand status in the global legal industry. They have brand equity with senior in-house counsel and key buyers in virtually every major region in the world, including the emerging markets.”

Rounding out the top ten are brands which have more of a domestic focus. Lawyers on Demand, Wolters Kluwer and Gartner take ranks eight, nine and 10.

The findings this year show that more and more clients every day are becoming aware of what these organizations can offer. Clients are liking what they see, and money is moving away from traditional law firms. The legal industry is fixated on distinguishing work delivered by lawyers and non-lawyers but in reality, clients just want effective solutions to their broad portfolio of legal work.

Acritas’ Global Alternative Legal Brand Index 2018 is compiled from analysis of an extract of data from the Sharplegal Global Elite survey dataset. All data is derived from 834 interviews with respondents, in $1 billion+ revenue organizations across the world, who have senior responsibility for buying legal services.

 

For more information about Acritas and its Global Alternative Legal Brand Index, please contact

Michelle Nesbitt-Burrell on +44(0) 808 178 3020 or email mnesbitt-burrell@acritas.com or

Liz Tate on +1 646 480 5738 or email ltate@acritas.com

 

Methodology

Acritas’ Global Alternative Legal Brand Index 2018 is compiled from analysis of an extract of data from the Sharplegal Global Elite survey 2018 dataset. All data is derived from 834 interviews with respondents, in $1 billion+ revenue organizations across the world, who have senior responsibility for buying legal services.

All interviews were conducted by telephone in local languages across 55 countries between August 2017 and July 2018 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 Alternative Legal Brand Index is determined through three open-ended questions from the full Sharplegal survey to find out from senior legal buyers:

  • The providers of legal services, excluding law firms, that are first to come to mind (Awareness)
  • The providers of legal services, excluding law firms, they feel most favorable towards (Favorability)
  • The service suppliers they are working with that demonstrate modern innovative practices.

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 global legal market that generates data and insight on law firm brands, usage, market trends, spend, international needs and much more, available by subscription only.

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