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Skadden Tops Acritas' US Law Firm Brand Index

The Acritas' US Law Firm Brand Index 2014 is out and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took the top spot for the third consecutive year. Jones Day, too, held the second spot for the third consecutive year while the rest of the firms in the list kept shuffling spots. The top five on the list this year are Skadden, Jones Day, Kirkland & Ellis, Baker & McKenzie and Hogan Lovells.

Hogan Lovells surprised everyone by moving up from spot 14 in 2013 to the 5th spot this year. This may not be surprising as this is a "brand" index and Hogan Lovells is almost equivalently placed in both inside US and outside it. The firm also thinks that its move up the index proves it's got a good brand story.

The American Lawyer reported Acritas' vice president Elizabeth Duffy saying, "In the last five years, we've seen a geographic or international footprint become a stronger and more important factor of favorability … Firms that offer that international footprint are now appealing or attractive to an increasing share of the market."

Acritas created its law firm brand index 2014 after interviewing 581 senior in-house counsel at companies which have more than $50 million in revenue. The lawyers who participated in the survey were asked to name the first five law firms that came to their mind along with the first three law firms they looked upon most favorably. Respondents were also asked to mark the three firms they considered best for litigation and major M&A matters and up to five firms they trust for providing high-value work. In addition, 123 lawyers outside US were asked to name the firm they most often use for US work.

Besides Hogan Lovells, other another firm which witnessed a major move up the index is Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr which rose from 53rd position in 2013 to 15th in 2014. Reed Smith moved up eight spots on the index and Weil Gotshal & Manges rose seven spots, too. However, Mayer Brown dropped 11 spots to finish at spot 19 on the list.

Overall, the results proved that size matters in creating an impact on the mind. Most firms within the top 10 spots on the list have more than 1500 lawyers, and some have more than double that number. Only four out of the top 20 have less than 1000 lawyers working at their firms.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

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