Baker & McKenzie and DLA Piper are better than the magic circle, claim brand gurus

By on

Global behemoths beat London aristocrats


A high-end market research company which does an annual ranking of the best law firm brands has placed size above pedigree in its latest league table.

Topping Acritas’ ‘2015 Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index’ are huge global duo Baker & McKenzie and DLA Piper, whose vast array of offices spanning basically everywhere make them very well known — if not always rated in the elite bracket for everything they do.

They sit just ahead of Clifford Chance, which comes in at third, befitting its status as a hybrid of global mega firm and London corporate finance aristocrat.

Fellow magic circle outfits Freshfields, Linklaters and Allen & Overy are located in the list at, respectively, seventh, eighth and ninth place. The fifth member of the supposedly magical quintet, Slaughter and May, is nowhere to be seen.

Other firms to rank highly include Norton Rose Fulbright (fourth), Hogan Lovells (fifth), Jones Day (sixth) and White & Case (10th).

Bakers has now topped Acritas’ list for six years running. Elsewhere in the rankings there has been more movement, with CC and DLA swapping places this year, and Hogan Lovells and Jones Day vaulting Links and Freshies.

The full ‘2015 Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index’:



Mr Rekcalb (Lord Yelrah)

I hear that wonderful organisation JAFLAS was robbed is its rightful position at the top of this clearly erroneous list. Please issue a redaction and full apology.



Seems to basically reward size.


Salmon Act 1986, s.32

Pretty much. It’s the only explanation for Dentons even being present on the list. Sure, they have like a thousand lawyers in China, but nobody seriously thinks they’re a better firm than Kirkland, Sidley or Latham (but maybe CMS…).



Sounds like my wife


Tuco Salamanca

Who the fucking fuck gives a flying fuck with these fucking rankings fucking rewarding fucking nothing but fucking brand fucking recognition?

No. One. Cares. Now where’s my meth?!


City Lawyah

Epic looool at CMS or utter toilets like ‘Sheds ranking higher than legendary Wall Street names of Cravath, Wachtell Lipton or SullCrom.

Congrats to whatever pinhead created this ranking, probably judging by how many likes the firms have on FB.



Yeah, Wall Street. they are virtually unused outside NYC.


SullCrom Swagg

WLRK, Cravath and SullCrom are not used outside of the US, that’s the best one yet. What’s next dear legal expert, Slaughter and May not doing any overseas deals?

Get outta here. This list has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.



Well, they only advise on New York law? All the firms on that list are truly global in that they advise on local law everywhere. Unlike Cravath, Wachtell and S&M.



Where the fuck did you read that they only advise on New York law ?



Just like the Magic Circle firms only advise magicians.


Clickbait Charlie

And Silver Circle firms advise people…with a silver butthole?



Wow, nerve hit there!



Meanwhile, most of the biggest clients in the City flat out refuse to instruct anyone outside of the MC (and sometimes SC) for practically any of their work. S&M still lead the FTSE 100 clients list, with Links snapping at their heels, and Bakers hovering around tenth.

Given that this is global, it is unsurprising because Bakers have an office almost everywhere – naturally their brand recognition will be high. What should be taken away from this is to point out how high the top English firms are compared to the top US firms – Skadden, Latham are lower and most of the White Shoes aren’t even there. This is a really amazing thing for young English lawyers – we have no idea how lucky we are to have access to such a huge proliferation of superb law firms.



Not by size. Freshfields and Linklaters have the biggest FTSE 100 clients and lead by market cap of FTSE clients. Linklaters by some margin….Very odd indicator of success anyway. Completely ignores big non-FTSE multinationals



That’s because the MC minus Slaughters ate global. The only US firms that are global are Bakers, Jones Day, and W&C – and they’re on the list



And Latham too.



To all the commentators above : As magic circle firms we have to be careful about dismissing this data out of hand. The fact is that firms with global presence, and associated with value, are capturing market share and growing rapidly, often with partners and teams laterally recruited from our firms. These rankings are based on interviews with clients so by dismissing the findings we are ingnoring client perceptions, which is always extraordinarily dangerous. More reflection required, I think.



Once you start working, nobody actually cares about which firms are placed where on these pointless rankings.


Comments are closed.