04 December 2012

Baker & McKenzie tops best brand survey

Baker & McKenzie has topped the list of the most powerful law firm brands in the world for the fifth year in a row.

By Megan Malloy

Fifth year as top brand

Market research frim Acrita’s survey of in-house counsel evaluated firms based on awareness, ‘favourability’, multi-jurisdictional litigation, and multi-jurisdictional transactional capabilities, reports the American Lawyer magazine.

Global presence

Three London-based magic circle practices -- Anglo-German firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, and Clifford Chance -- trailed Baker & McKenzie in the 2012 index. DLA Piper saw a substantial rise on the list after merging with its Australian arm and building a presence in Turkey, Brazil, and Kenya in 2010.
The international presence of a firm factored heavily into its score, according to Lisa Hart Shepherd, chief executive and founder of Acritas. ‘Baker has been in South America and Asia and the US for quite a long time, which has built up brand recognition. It’s way ahead of other firms.’

US firms slip

Brazilian Eduardo Leite, global chairman of Chicago-founded Baker & McKenzie, commented: ‘The results reflect our ability to work fluently across borders and practices on the largest and most complex multi-jurisdictional matters. We continue to expand into new markets that have long-term potential for our clients, to help them grow their businesses and manage their risk throughout the world.’
Several US firms slipped down the list, as they are less concerned with expanding internationally and more concerned with generating profit, Peter Martyr, the chief executive of London-based Norton Rose, told the researchers. ‘The philosophy of the New York firms has always been to make money,’ commented Mr Martyr.

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