Thomson Reuters and PwC Legal emerge as leading global alternative legal brands

Acritas’ inaugural annual Global  Alternative Legal Brand Index sees Thomson Reuters lead followed by PwC Legal

In a ground-breaking piece of research, legal market experts Acritas have published an Index that shows the power of alternative legal service providers. This new 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 organisations that provide legal services, excluding law firms, that first come to mind, along with those they most favored. The Index also shows which service suppliers most demonstrate modern innovative practices.

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 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 eight years, thereby responding to the increasing diversity of legal services providers that in-house departments turn to to help them provide legal support to their organizations in the most effective and cost-efficient way.

Acritas Global Alternative Legal Brand Index 2017

Thomson Reuters emerges as the strongest alternative legal brand in the inaugural Acritas Global Alternative Legal Brand Index. Although PwC Legal, coming second overall, outperformed Thomson Reuters in terms of top-of-mind awareness, Thomson Reuters was the most favored overall and three times more recognised than the next closest contender for its innovative practices.

Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of Acritas, commented: “Thomson Reuters’ investment in technology is coming through strongly as the underlying reason why senior in-house counsel are attracted to their offer. Their products and services are enabling legal departments to innovate and drive efficiency in how they organize and conduct their legal work.”

Susan Taylor Martin, President, Thomson Reuters Legal, commented: “It is gratifying to see the market recognise our efforts to enable alternative approaches to doing legal work through our products and services. By providing technology, content and domain expertise that help both legal departments and law firms to work smarter, we believe we can help our clients navigate an increasingly dynamic, global legal landscape.”

All the Big 4 accounting firms benefit from being dominant brands in the professional services sector, but PwC Legal has made the most progress in being recognized in the legal space. Their visibility lends a significant advantage to their brand platform. The picture varies by region; the Big 4 were weaker in the US which is perhaps not surprising given the current restrictions on providing US legal advice.

Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of Acritas, commented: “The Big 4 are managing to leverage their vast and sophisticated global relationships to fulfil legal and associated advisory work in one holistic solution. Their sophisticated global brands provide an expectation of quality which creates a powerful platform from which to deliver rapid growth and innovation in the legal services space.”

Other strongly performing alternative brands included Axiom and Lexis Nexis with Axiom performing particularly well in the US.

The findings this year show that senior in-house counsel are open to buying legal services from a widening range of providers in their drive to deliver the greatest possible value for their organizations. A growing number of companies are implementing technology enabled solutions to help access know-how and organize work, utilizing flexible and agile resources to fulfil fluctuating work volume and specialized expertise, or instructing professional services advisors who offer a holistic solution. This is the legal industry reality in 2017. The coming years will favor those firms or alternative providers most able to adapt in innovate in this new world.

 

Acritas’ Global Alternative Legal Brand Index 2017 is compiled from analysis of an extract of data from the Sharplegal Global Elite survey dataset. All data is derived from 639 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 Elizabeth Duffy on +1 646 480 5738 or email eduffy@acritas.com

Methodology

Acritas’ Global Alternative Legal 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.

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

 

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

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