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This Law Firm Has the Strongest Brand for 5 Years Running

Feb. 3, 2016, 7:16 PM

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP topped a survey of in-house counsel on which firms they’re likely to tap for outside work, besting Jones Day, DLA Piper, Kirkland & Ellis and Sidley Austin for the fifth year running.

Firms fighting for market share and talent in an increasingly competitive world build on their brand and reputation, the Acritas U.S. Law Firm Brand Index shows.

The last five years showed economic pressures facing law firms, resulting in law firm consolidation and more competition for market share, Acritas VP Lizzy Duffy told Big Law Business.

“I think what we’ve seen over five years really reflects dramatic changes in the market,” said Duffy, noting that firms are dedicating more resources internally to win market share and client favorability.

The news isn’t all bad for firms below Skadden: The index found that the gap between Skadden, with 1,700 attorneys in 23 offices in 15 countries, and the other firms, is closing.

Skadden’s dropped from 5.1 percent of the total market brand equity five years ago to 3 percent today.

Firms Ranked

The findings come from a 2015 report in which Acritas asked 600 of 2,144 in-house counsel with authority to buy outside legal services about their outside firms.

To gauge law firms brand strength, Acritas asked the in-house counsel a number of things, including which law firms they’re aware of, find most favorable, consider for top-level litigation and major mergers and acquisitions, as well as which firms they used most.

Based on the results, the firms were ranked on a 100 point scale. Skadden scored 100, Jones Day scored 91, while DLA Piper and Kirkland & Ellis each scored 78 on the brand index.

Morgan Lewis gained 25 points in the index and rose from 10th to sixth place. Other gainers were Sidley Austin, Latham & Watkins, Hogan Lovells, Wachtell Lipton, Morrison & Foerster and Paul Weiss. Baker & McKenzie and Sullivan & Cromwell neither gained nor lost significant numbers, the index said.