Acritas’ seventh annual UK Law Firm Brand Index sees Pinsent Masons take the number one spot for the very first time, overtaking Eversheds Sutherland, albeit by just 2 points.
This year’s law firm brand index has been one of the most competitive. The top ten UK firms are separated by the fewest number of points in the Index’s history. Pinsent Masons is this year’s strongest law firm 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, the good working relationships it develops and fulfilling promises to deliver results.
The firm who made the most progress in the index this year is CMS. Jo Aitken, Director of Acritas said: “This year’s biggest riser is CMS. The firm has disrupted the top 10 by climbing an impressive 9 ranks since their merger to claim 4th. The three-way merger with Olswang and Nabarro has created a platform which can offer UK clients deep sector specialism and access to a comprehensive pan-European offer.”
Jo added: “Linklaters stands out as the number one firm with both financial institutions and London-based buyers while Herbert Smith Freehills remains untouchable for its top-level litigation consideration.”
Despite being a year of both domestic and international political uncertainty, Acritas reports buoyancy within the UK legal market with considerable increases in legal spend from buyers with international needs. Jo confirmed: “As the international needs of UK buyers grow, those firms who are able to service their clients in key international jurisdictions are continuing to stand out – particularly those with a strong EU presence, who can help clients reorganise pre-Brexit.” Looking more closely at the ten firms within this year’s Index, all have a strong international proposition for clients as they look nervously towards the uncertainty of a future Europe, and with anticipation to the growing markets of Asia and the US.”
Alternative Legal Service Providers Strengthening
This year Acritas has also been capturing data on alternative legal service brands for the first time, in addition to law firm brands. Its data is providing evidence for the rising threat of non-law firm brands in the legal space.
According to Acritas’ latest research, 30% of UK businesses anticipate reducing their overall external legal budget in the next 12 months. Jo said: “Many corporate legal departments have told us they are looking to reduce their need for external counsel by growing their ability to solve issues in-house. They are therefore open to a wide range of offerings which support this.”
It is Thomson Reuters that 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.
Jo added: “New entrants are gaining credibility and are perceived to offer more innovative, self-sufficient solutions to clients. We have been measuring their brand strength in key markets across the world and will continue to do so to track progress.”
For more information about Acritas and its UK Law Firm Brand Index, please contact:
Michelle Nesbitt-Burrell on +44(0) 808 178 3020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org