Truly global footprints, aligned value propositions and strong leadership are driving success for the world’s leading legal brands
Over the last six years, the global legal market has seen many changes. The global recession may have kick-started the process, but clients are keeping it moving. As part of our annual global survey of over 2,300 general counsel, we have been tracking how legal buyers select their firms and analyzing the firms winning – and losing – brand equity.
Analysis of our latest survey results reveals global coverage and local knowledge as the key success factors behind today’s leading law firms. Common to the world’s leading legal brands (Top 5 in Acritas’ Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index) is that each firm has brand equity in every major region across the world (US, Canada, Latin America, UK, Mainland Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific). Firms that are investing in building the most expansive footprints with deep local knowledge, not just a flag in the ground, are winning brand equity in the market. Today’s clients are global and they expect their firms to be moving that way too.
Clients need to buy smarter – they tell us they are under more and more pressure to do just that – and law firms must respond to those needs and deliver better value.
Difficult economic conditions have meant clients have to spend their money more wisely. Increasingly they are developing more sophisticated and ‘savvy’ buyer power, who know to ask for price reductions, who mix and match the firms they use to the type of work they require, who are growing and upskilling their in-house teams. To reap the benefits of this more efficient buyer behavior, firms must be poised to offer a broader spectrum of work at reflective and appropriate prices.
Strong leadership within law firms is also a key to navigating these market changes. We have found that firms with a clear strategy and strong, yet diverse leadership to execute that strategy are on track to become the global leaders of the next generation.
More diverse leadership means in every sense, so the geographic spread of representation on a firm’s Board, across the world not just from one or two key markets, and to ensure diversity in gender, ethnicity, age and professional backgrounds too. Interestingly, the firms that are seeing the largest growth have all engaged non-legal business professionals to help the direction and execution of their strategy. It is this type of firm that we see making the most progress in growing their firm’s brand equity.
To discover the top 20 law firms according those doing the hiring and watch our exclusive webcast on the Index findings please click here.