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Brexit Gives Law Firms With Wide Reach Brand Boost, Survey Says

April 25, 2019, 5:55 PM

U.K. legal buyers are becoming more apt to turn to firms with broader geographic reach due in part to a looming Brexit, according to a new survey.

Legal market research consultancy Acritas’ 2019 U.K. Law Firm Brand Index found that the country’s decision to withdraw from the European Union is likely affecting legal buying patterns of law firm clients with work in the U.K.

The index rankings are based on feedback from around 300 legal buyers at large U.K. organizations and around 200 global legal buyers who do business in Britain.

U.K. buyers, according to the index, are more likely to seek out firms with a presence in Germany, the Netherlands and other key European markets.

One of the law firms with the largest rises on the index this year is Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which has more than 2,800 lawyers worldwide and a leading presence in Germany. The firm got the No.5 spot.

A U.S. presence also appears to matter to the buyers interviewed. Acritas noted that Squire Patton Boggs also jumped up the rankings this year because of its extensive work in the U.S. The firm came in at No.12.

Both Freshfields and Squire Patton Boggs rose by five rankings in the report over last year’s edition.

Top Of the Charts

Fast climbers aside, familiar firms still graced the top of the index this year.

The top scoring law firm in the 2019 U.K. brand index survey is Eversheds Sutherland, followed by Pinsent Masons, Linklaters, and DLA Piper.

Eversheds Sutherland, according to Acritas, fits the bill for success with its broad capabilities in Europe and the U.S. as well as a national network of U.K. offices.

“I am delighted that our brand strength continues to resonate very strongly with clients and is reflected by the fact that we have topped the Acritas index in the UK now for a record fifth time,” Lee Ranson, co-chief executive at the firm, said in a statement. “Building a differentiated and client-focused brand is a key part of our global strategy, and it is very pleasing that our success is recognised by the market in this way.”

Acritas also ranks U.S. law firm brands and recently found Jones Day to have the strongest brand in the nation for the third year in a row.

To contact the reporter on this story: David McAfee in Los Angeles at dmcAfee@bloomberglaw.com
To contact the editor on this story; Rebekah Mintzer in New York at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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