As competition intensifies in the law firm market, Acritas reports a resurgence of premium brands this year, with M&A contributing most to overall brand growth, and many of the strongest brands known to US-based GCs are missing out on inbound legal spend from foreign multinationals.
This year’s results reveal an incredibly crowded field. For the first year ever, 23 firms fill the top 20 ranks. Jones Day is the strongest law firm brand in the US for the third consecutive year, with 100 points. However, its lead is diminishing as Skadden has increased by 13 points narrowing the gap to Jones Day to just two index points. A further nine firms rank within three points of the top 20: (listed in alphabetical order) Cravath, Debevoise, Dentons, Eversheds Sutherland, Greenberg Traurig, Littler Mendelson, Ogletree Deakins, Reed Smith and Vinson & Elkins. This year’s biggest riser is Sullivan & Cromwell, having increased by 26 points, now ranking at tied 8th. Morgan Lewis has increased by 25 points now ranking at 3rd place.
Almost all of the firms that have increased their position by 10 or more points this year are Am Law 50 firms. The trend in brand growth mirroring the trend reported in law firm financial growth this year – the biggest firms are growing at the fastest pace.
Acritas’ US Law Firm Brand Index 2019 is compiled from analysis of an extract of data from the Sharplegal US survey dataset. All data is derived from 624 interviews with respondents, in $50 million+ revenue organizations across the US, who have senior responsibility for buying legal services. It also includes the views of a further 258 non-US-based senior counsel who were asked which firms they used for their US-based legal needs.
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