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Freshfields has strongest legal brand in UK, survey finds

3 May 2012

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

A survey of law firms' brand equity among general counsel has found that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has the strongest overall brand in the UK.

The firm has benefited from its strong market position in Germany – which has the second largest inflow of legal work to the UK, after the US – and from being appointed as the official legal services provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Unsurprisingly, Freshfields also attributes its brand’s position to the quality of its client service. “We are focusing on deepening client relationships and gathering and acting on their feedback to ensure we continue to deliver a consistent, high-quality service across all our practices wherever our clients need us around the world,” said senior partner Will Lawes.

Eversheds takes the number two spot, followed by Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Slaughter and May. Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith and Pinsent Masons follow in the next three positions, with DLA Piper and CMS rounding off the top ten.

The index positions are based on interviews with 400 UK-based general counsel and 200 overseas general counsel regarding their UK needs. Respondents were asked to name the firms that came top of mind, as well as the firms they most favoured, considered for top-level M&A and litigation work, and most used for high-value work.

Herbert Smith gained the highest position for top-level litigation work by a considerable margin, followed by Freshfields. On the M&A side, Linklaters leads the pack, closely followed by other members of the magic circle.

The research report, published by Acritas, notes that the firms that perform well on its awareness and favourability measures are those that offer something different, be it industry specialisms, added value services, a more integrated approach to relationship management or simply better value. These firms are also slowly increasing their share of the ‘most used for high-value work’ measure.

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