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Yorkshire: battle of the brands

As we edge closer to the full force of the Legal Services Act, firms are increasingly focusing on their ‘brand’ to differentiate themselves – and Yorkshire lawyers are making sure they’re ahead of the game. Jean-Yves Gilg reports

16 August 2010

Name a brand. Any brand. The chances are that it will be a big fashion name. Maybe something to do with handbags or sunglasses, but unlikely to be a law firm. Lawyers are notoriously slow at embracing new concepts, but they are catching up fast. The idea that a law firm could be a brand doesn’t come as a surprise nowadays, at least in the top 100. Now even smaller firms think of themselves as a brand. Richard Marshall, managing partner at 36-partner firm Lupton Fawcett, in Leeds, talks about clients “communicating with the brand”, while Ro Deadman, his counterpart at four-partner firm Oxley & Coward, in Rotherham, discusses how the partners plan to “extend the reach of the brand”.

So, what’s happened to the concepts of reputation, name, or just being well-known? There is really not much difference, except that these old-fashioned notions sound a bit too much like the TV programme Kingdom. The real difference is psychological: the growing prevalence of the term ‘b...

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