There has been an explosion in thought-leadership marketing among the country’s major law firms, according to research by Passle, the expert-to-expert sales and marketing platform for professional services firms.
The top 100 firms collectively created 37,397 individual blogs, articles and other insights during 2020. In 2018, the last time Passle conducted this research, the top 200 firms managed to produce 33,823 insights between them.
This increase is, says Passle. likely to have been driven by insights created to help clients navigate their way through the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2021 Thought Leadership Index found that larger firms produced more thought leadership, yet reports a core of smaller firms “punching above their weight” with high numbers of posts. “These firms such are driving quality thought leadership within their niche,” it said.
The research – which aims to discover which law firms are most successful in building their presence and demonstrating their expertise online – found that, by volume, Norton Rose Fulbright produced the most insights with 1,920 over the year, averaging more than three per lawyer, followed by CMS with 1,124 posts and Linklaters with 1,038 posts.
When judged by size, however, leading media firm Wiggin led the way, its 816 insights equating to more than eight posts per lawyer.
Passle ranked the top 100 firms across the knowledge pieces they created, their social media activity, and followers for an overall ranking that put Norton Rose Fulbright top, followed by Kingsley Napley, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Taylor Wessing. Rounding out the top 10 were Burges Salmon, Slaughter and May, Lewis Silkin, Irwin Mitchell and Osborne Clarke.
When it came to social media, LinkedIn was very much the platform of choice, with firms averaging nearly 27,000 followers. Eight firms have more than 100,000, with three – DLA Piper, Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy – way out in front with more than 175,000 each.
On Twitter, the average number of followers was 7,930, with DLA Piper the only firm with more than 40,000 followers; Allen & Overy, Irwin Mitchell and Hogan Lovells had more than 30,000 each.
Only seven of the top 100 are not using YouTube, but consumer practice Slater & Gordon is the undoubted YouTube king of law firms, registering nearly 11.5m views last year. Irwin Mitchell was second with 940,000; Hogan Lovells was the highest City firm on the list, with 236,000 views putting it fifth.
Adam Elgar, Passle co-founder, told The Professionals: “It is no longer enough to tell potential clients how good you are – you need to show it too. Firms have nothing to fear and everything to gain by putting their expertise in the public domain, and there is often a clear correlation between this activity and enquiry levels.
“Particularly in the early days of the pandemic, firms were able to assist their clients and the wider business community hugely by ramping up their insights on the legal implications, with many creating dedicated knowledge hubs.
“People buy expertise but they also buy people. The savvy use of social media to share insights about both the law and the firm is a great way to sell yourself to potential clients, and it need not be a time-consuming exercise.”
To see how they benchmark against competitors, as well as obtain their overall score and ranking, the top 100 firms can request a free report at www.rankmyfirm.com. Firms using Passle include Deloitte, Macfarlanes, Clyde & Co, Freshfields, Ropes & Gray, DLA Piper, Linklaters, Howard Kennedy, Lewis Silkin, Clifford Chance, Shoosmiths and Reed Smith.