As we noted last year when we spoke at length about law firm branding, “[a]side from the daily challenges associated with sustaining or exceeding gross revenue year after year, Biglaw partners are probably most worried about their firm’s brand.”
With so many law firms out there in the world, it may be difficult to figure out which one is right for a client’s specific needs. Amid recent layoffs of all kinds, even from the most respected of firms, how is one to decide which Biglaw firm to roll with?
As luck would have it, there’s a ranking to determine which firm has the strongest brand in the business — one that can withstand even the bad taste that layoffs can leave in a client’s mouth….
BTI Consulting Group ranked Biglaw firms based on feedback from their most important clients: general counsel and CLOs at Fortune 1000 companies. Here’s how BTI compiled the list this year:
Each and every law firm included in the BTI Brand Elite 2014: Client Perceptions of the Best – Branded Law Firms is the direct result of a specific unprompted client citation. We did not present clients with any law firms, by name, for the purpose of this analysis.
This analysis includes interviews with decision makers at top-spending companies:
•Average revenue of $16.4 billion
– Median revenue of $4.1 billion
•46.8% General Counsel or Chief Legal Officer
–44.3% Direct reports to General Counsel
According to BTI Consulting, the top three Biglaw brands in the world in 2014 are as follows:
- Skadden Arps
- Kirkland & Ellis
- Latham & Watkins
This looks slightly different from the Acritas Law Firm Brand Index released in March 2014, which listed its top three Biglaw brands as Skadden Arps, Jones Day, and Kirkland & Ellis. Congrats to Skadden and Kirkland on making the top three on both lists.
The other firms on the BTI list of 26 include the following firms, which we’ve listed in alphabetical order:
Alston & Bird
Baker & McKenzie
Faegre Baker & Daniels
Foley & Lardner
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
Jenner & Block
McDermott Will & Emery
Morrison & Foerster
Norton Rose Fulbright
Sullivan & Cromwell
If you’d like to see which order these firms come in, the BTI list is available for purchase (for $3,400).
Once again, the bottom line here is that client loyalty means a lot in the world of Biglaw. Even if your firm is one that charges incredibly high hourly rates, clients may still be willing to pay for it if they know that they’re paying for quality services that they can trust — and may go on to recommend to others.