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Top law firms almost double online content generation

Irwin Mitchell, Olswang, and Wragge Lawrence Graham lead the chasing pack in showcasing their talent

3 November 2015

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The Top 100 law firms have increased their output of online content by 77 per cent to build up their digital presence, according to new research.

Findings released from Passle ranked Irwin Mitchell as the best firm for showcasing its expertise online for the second year running.

There were big movers in the chasing pack, however, with Olswang moving up from 17th to second this year, while Wragge Lawrence Graham shot up from 85th to third. Osborne Clarke also rose from 18th to fourth.

At the other end of the rankings were Gordon Dadds, Parabis Law, and Co-Operative Legal Services, while joint last place featured Dickson Minto and Shakespeare Martineau.

Passle's analysis found the Top 100 are on track to post almost 47,000 'knowledge' pieces between them by the end of 2015, compared to just over 26,000 in 2014.

Pinsent Masons produced the most knowledge pieces, followed by Norton Rose Fulbright and Hogan Lovells, while Bircham Dyson Bell managed the most knowledge pieces per lawyer. Irwin Mitchell topped the overall table due to its success in distributing its content via Twitter.

The report found that while the increase was striking, the legal industry is not yet close to demonstrating its true expertise online. The 46,866 posts equal just 128 pieces of content per day. The total output of approximately 62,000 lawyers means practitioners produce less than one piece of publicly available content each year on average.

'This strongly suggests that there is still a first-mover advantage available, in many areas of the law, to firms who can carve out and "own" their niche,' said the report.

'The legal industry is not yet, as a body, anywhere close to demonstrating its true expertise online, but in our experience those who do are seeing the benefits in terms of attracting clients and networking opportunities,' remarked Passle co-founder Tom Elgar.

'The reality is that in a market as competitive as the law, firms need to seek every advantage to make themselves stand out from the crowd. Sharing your knowledge in an accessible way is a major element of doing this in the social media era.'

Social media use has also increased markedly. Twitter use has increased on average by 66 per cent across the Top 100, but again this is from a low base of just over one tweet per firm per day to just under two.

Nonetheless, this is paying dividends, with an average of 3,733 followers per firm, up by 47 per cent on last year. The combined increase means that the average daily reach per firm has jumped by 142 per cent.

Irwin Mitchell had the highest number of Twitter followers at the time of the research, with 24,902, followed by DLA Piper with 21,953, and Allen & Overy with 21,886.

Kevin Peake, group sales and marketing director at Irwin Mitchell, said: 'It is important to deliver interesting and engaging content that our clients and prospective clients can interact with when they want to.

'We have a loyal following on social media which is growing daily and will continue to invest and develop the way we use online platforms as it is a clear potential growth area for the Irwin Mitchell Group.'

John van der Luit-Drummond is deputy editor for Solicitors Journal
john.vanderluit@solicitorsjournal.co.uk | @JvdLD

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