Summary: Jones Day took the top spot for another year at the top of Acritas’ Law Firm Brand Index for the United States law firms.
The annual U.S. Law Firm Brand Index by Acritas resulted in Jones Day taking the top spot yet again. The lead Jones Day is gaining over the other law firms has not been seen since 2014. The company Acritas has conducted the study for seven years now.
The 2018 data from the Sharplegal US Survey dataset is comprised of 601 interviews with respondents from $1 billion+ revenue US organizations that have top responsibilities of purchasing legal services. The data also includes opinions from 176 non-US-based senior counsel on which firms they use for their US-based legal services.
The law firm with the strongest brand in the US was Jones Day for the second consecutive year, skipping over Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP. Skadden had been the leader in the industry for five years. This year, Skadden strengthened its brand name, but not enough to take the top spot back from Jones Day. Instead, Jones Day continued to pull ahead.
Acritas Vice President Lizzy Duffy said, “Jones Day is more favored this year for its practical style of delivery, along with its global coverage and breadth of services – all areas we know align with clients’ evolving needs especially now that half of legal departments are assigning responsibility for optimizing legal operations.”
The competition between the most powerful brands is becoming even more fierce. The top 10 law firms strengthened overall or in individual areas. Acritas also gathered data on alternative legal service brands this year. What they learned from the data is that alternative brands are gaining strength in the legal industry. Lizzy stated, “For now law firms still have a richer brand profile – they are seen as authorities in so many more areas of expertise, the current advantage the alternatives have is centered around technology and process efficiency. As clients look for ways to drive value in managing their legal work, the threat from alternatives will continue to rise. Our latest research study shows top of mind awareness of Axiom has almost tripled in four years in the US. Law firms must use this threat as an opportunity to adapt to clients’ current needs.”
Looking at the data, the top 20 is not set apart from the rest. The next 15 firms down are within five Index points and could easily challenge the brand leaders in the near future. These include “Baker Botts, BakerHostetler, Cravath, Davis Polk, Eversheds Sutherland, Gibson Dunn, Greenberg Traurig, Littler Mendelson, Orrick, Perkins Coie, Reed Smith, Seyfarth Shaw, Simpson Thacher, Vinson & Elkins, White & Case,” according to Acritas.
Lizzy added, “Firms with both a strong US presence and an international network are reaping rewards in terms of brand equity. However, those with market-leading ambitions will need to ensure they develop their proposition to resonate with clients evolving needs to succeed.”
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To learn more about past results, read these articles:
- Acritas Reveals Brand Growth is Linked to Revenue Growth in Law Firms
- Acritas Survey Ranks the Most Popular Law Firm Brands
- Acritas Survey Reveals Top 20 Law Firm Brands