In May, Hausfeld launched a new website. The Professionals caught up with the firm’s Marketing and BD Director Silvia Van Den Bruel to discuss the creative process that underpins website development.
Hausfeld is one the world’s litigation powerhouses, handling complex legal disputes with expertise in antitrust, commercial, financial services litigation. Its website is an important window for its clients, staff and intermediaries.
Why did Hausfeld revisit website?
When we started Hausfeld, we set out to challenge the status quo with new alternative legal thinking, finding different ways of righting wrongs and successfully resolving disputes for our clients, driven by a bold approach and pioneering experience – and to do so in a familial and dynamic law firm culture. We grew from one office with 17 lawyers to 12 offices with 250+ people including 140 lawyers in just 12 years. Given how competitive the legal market is, we recognise it was vital to be clear about the value we bring; to set out distinctly what we do best in a way that is relevant to our audience and to communicate this effectively, both internally and externally, so we partnered with brand agency Living to help us tell our story.
What is the firm trying to achieve with the new website?
We wanted to make sure that our new visual brand reflects the true personality of the firm and communicates who we are, what we do and why that matters – not just in words, but also through vision. The website is just one of the tools making up our visual brand, but the most public one. It was therefore important that the colours and the bespoke visuals reflect our values: pioneering, unconventional, pragmatic, tenacious and bold.
What brief was the creative/web agency given and how did they respond?
In the first stage, Living was asked to stress-test our values and help formulate an elevator pitch and positioning statement. In phase two, they helped create a visual identity, and in the last stage we built the website together. They methodically built a true picture of Hausfeld by amassing a profile through conference calls and workshops with attorneys from across the firm, supplemented by the all-important external viewpoint of clients and external advisers – plus a competitor analysis using their proprietary Living Ratings’ research.
What advice would you offer to others embarking on website projects?
To only work with a manageable group of decision makers! Our select group, seven in total, included our Global COO and London Marketing & BD Director – both leading the project – in addition to our Global Executive Committee. This allowed us to be decisive and act fast as it is much easier to achieve consensus. We also strived to achieve buy-in rather than settle for compromise. We made sure that we had a well-worked out communication plan around the brand launch internally. This was essential given that the firm was working remotely because of the Covid pandemic. We then decided to replicate this way of working on the website and picked a small working group of four lawyers, representing all the regions in which we work, again led by our COO and marketing director. Furthermore, we gave the marketing team the freedom to develop and edit content on a coordinated basis, ensuring the website represents ‘one voice’.
Feedback has been positive with a lot of comments confirming that the new visual brand represents very strongly who we are and what we stand for. The “Loving the new brand – great job” by the Marketing Director of one of our biggest competitors stands for something!