Throwback Thursday: Pre-Great Recession, City law firms were all about gymnastics

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In a bid for trendiness, franchise giant Eversheds released this adrenaline-fuelled video advert — three months before the 2008 crash


How the London sun shone — at least metaphorically — in June 2008. The City was booming, and while storm clouds of the most thunderous type were brewing, they were well beyond the visible horizon.

In that we-never-had-it-so-good atmosphere, international law firm Eversheds — keen to discard its McDonald’s franchise of the legal profession image — moved into flash offices in Wood Street EC2 and rang up the marketing consultants, doubtless instructing them to “do something that will makes us look … well … trendy”.

What they produced was this one-minute video advertisement, which has got noughties fashionable youth culture oozing from every frame.

In those 60 seconds, the lead character goes from a sedate posture leafing through that day’s Financial Times, to a series of back flips past two bemused receptionists, to handstands and cartwheels on the building’s roof.


Along the way, he dons a pair of dark glasses and performs several don’t-attempt-this-at-home-style manoeuvres perched on the window-cleaning rail.

The happy-go-lucky advert — which has had more than 2,300 views on YouTube — finishes with the slogan:

“Eversheds — a law firm for the 21st century.”

Which presumably suggests that pre-“Great Recession” clients wanted their lawyers to have something of the gymnastic daredevil about them.

Ah … speaking of the financial crash, a mere three months after this jolly video was released, Lehman Bros took a spectacular nosedive and the bottom fell out of the legal market, not least for trainees and younger lawyers.

Indeed, an accurate sequel to the video would have depicted this same chap dashing past reception — but not bothering with the fancy twirls — to the roof of the building and hurling himself without pausing off to the street below.

To be fair, Eversheds has since scored marketing points. The firm was ranked at 14th place in the legal market researcher Acritas’s global elite law firm brand index for last year.

And its financial figures look reasonably healthy. The Lawyer magazine reported the firm’s revenue was up by 2% last year to £384 million and its average profit per equity partner figure rose by a noticeable 13.6% to £729,000.