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Pinsent Masons, Eversheds Sutherland, DLA Piper and CMS trump magic circle rivals in 2018 brand power list

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Based on opinions of almost 500 legal counsel

A plethora of City outfits have greater brand power than their elite magic circle counterparts, according to an index released this week.

Acritas’ UK Law Firm Brand Index 2018 ranks law firms by their brand power, with international player Pinsent Masons this year securing the top spot for the first time. The City outfit leapfrogged four-time leader Eversheds Sutherland by a margin of just two points. DLA Piper placed third on this year’s list, which was compiled using data gathered from interviews with 295 UK-based and 190 non-UK-based senior legal counsel. In fourth is CMS, a firm that’s climbed nine places since its merger last year.

The 2018 Firms Most List

Elsewhere on the index, magic circle outfit Linklaters secured fifth, while fellow elite firms Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance placed sixth and seventh. Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith Freehills tied eighth. Freshfields — improving two places on last year’s result — finished in tenth place.

Table via Acritas

Other firms to feature on this year’s index include Baker McKenzie (11th), Norton Rose Fulbright (12th), Addleshaw Goddard (13th), Clyde & Co (14th) and Hogan Lovells (15th).

Elsewhere, Acritas reports buoyancy within the UK legal market, despite political uncertainty both in the UK and overseas. This is at least partly down to an influx in spend from clients requiring international legal advice. Acritas’ director, Jo Aitken, said:

“As the international needs of UK buyers grow, those firms who are able to service their clients in key international jurisdictions are continuing to stand out — particularly those with a strong EU presence, who can help clients reorganise pre-Brexit.”

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