Brand-elite firms recognised

For the second year running, one US-headquartered firm takes the top spot

Brand-elite firms recognised

BTI Consulting has once again revealed the best-branded firms according to in-house lawyers at the world’s largest organisations.

Jones Day bested rival firms for the second year in a row to top the “Brand Elite 28,” even as BTI revealed another shift in clients’ brand perception of law firms.

This year Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Mayer Brown; Paul Hastings; and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison entered the list. Unfortunately, that means K&L Gates, Ogletree Deakins, Seyfarth Shaw, and Simpson Thacher lost their spots.

The “BTI Brand Elite 2018” firms are:

  1. Jones Day
  2. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
  3. Latham & Watkins
  4. Dentons
  5. DLA Piper
  6. Cooley
  7. Baker McKenzie
  8. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  9. Sidley Austin
  10. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  11. White & Case
  12. Hogan Lovells
  13. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  14. Dechert
  15. Cravath, Swaine & Moore
  16. Kirkland & Ellis
  17. Davis Polk & Wardwell
  18. Sullivan & Cromwell
  19. Greenberg Traurig
  20. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
  21. Reed Smith
  22. McGuireWoods
  23. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
  24. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
  25. Mayer Brown
  26. Norton Rose Fulbright
  27. Polsinelli
  28. Paul Hastings

BTI incorporated data from more than 686 in-depth interviews of corporate counsel in making the list. The firms are ranked based on feedback from the in-house lawyers in three core success factors, which are client experience, premium work, and innovation.

These factors are further split into nine characteristics driving the selection, consideration, and hire of new law firms. Under client experience, for instance, the study asked whether a firm is recommended first to peers and clients without prompting and whether a firm is considered first for hiring in new assignments.

Under premium work, the study asked whether a firm is paid above-market rates by clients who believe the work is worthy of premium pay, whether a firm is a safe choice for the most complex and high-risk work, and whether a firm is more likely than others to be an industry leader over the long term.

Under innovation, the list considers whether a firm is delivering new and valuable services or behaviours that other firms don’t. It also looks at whether a firm is using technology more effectively or in new ways to add value. Innovation characteristics also include whether the firm is making changes in process or the client experience to add value, and whether a firm is making changes other firms don’t to improve the client experience.

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