Jones Day is the #1 Law Firm Brand: Acritas 2017 U.S. Law Firm Brand Index

Jones Day overtakes Skadden for the first time to be the top-ranked law firm brand

NEW YORK--()--For the first time since the Acritas U.S. Law Firm Brand Index launched in 2012, a new firm takes top billing as the strongest brand in the legal industry. After five years in the number two spot, Jones Day moves to the top, ousting long-time leader Skadden to be number one law firm brand in the United States.

Acritas is a leading legal industry research firm that provides business intelligence to the global legal marketplace. Throughout the years, the Acritas U.S. Law Firm Brand Index has revealed that the strongest brands are those that perform well across multiple metrics and have the scale and marketing capability to affirm their position in the minds of clients.

“Jones Day hit all the high marks in the areas that matter most – they can offer clients breadth and international reach alongside a consistent performance in terms of quality and service,” said Lizzy Duffy, Vice President of Acritas US, Inc. “The firm has been narrowing the gap between first and second place for several years, and this year their efforts really resonated with clients and others in the industry.”

U.S. Firms - The Top 20 U.S. Brands

2017 Ranking   2016 Ranking   Firm Name   2017 Score


  2.   Jones Day   100


  1.   Skadden   97


  8.   Baker McKenzie   85


  7.   Latham & Watkins   82


  =3.   DLA Piper   75


  9.   Hogan Lovells   75


  6.   Morgan Lewis   68


  5.   Sidley Austin   68


  =3.   Kirkland & Ellis   61
10.   10.   K&L Gates   52


  14.   Reed Smith   51


  15.   Foley & Lardner   46




  Littler   44


  13.   Norton Rose Fulbright   44


  39.   Ropes & Gray   44


  =11.   Sullivan & Cromwell   44


  =19.   McDermott Will & Emery   42


  =29.   Dentons   41


  =11.   Wachtell   37


  22.   King & Spalding   36

*= Signifies a tie in the ranking

The biggest jumps into the top 20 this year were made by Ropes & Gray, which jumped 26 places this year to tie for 13th place; Dentons, which moved 11 spots this year into the top 20 for a total move of 56 places in rank since 2012; and Littler, up 17 spots this year and 29 spots since 2012.

More than 660 law firms comprise this year's Index. Outside of this year’s top 20, BakerHostetler rose 116 places since 2012 to rank 22nd in 2017. Other firms that increased more than 50 places since the inaugural survey and now rank inside the top 50 are: Perkins Coie, Barnes & Thornburg, and Nixon Peabody.

"We've seen quite a bit of movement in the rankings, which we believe is positive for U.S. firms and for their clients," said Duffy. “The Index does not just reflect technical competence—it also shows which firms are upper-most in clients’ minds, which ultimately translates into the firms that are most likely to win new business.”

Index Methodology

Now in its sixth year, the Acritas U.S. Law Firm Brand Index measures the brand strength of law firms across six metrics: top of mind awareness, favorability, consideration for top-level deals and litigation, overall usage among U.S.-based clients and inbound usage among international clients. Firms receive points per mention in each of these categories and are assigned a total points score. The firm with the most points sets the Index at 100, and all other scores are calculated off of this.

The U.S. Law Firm Brand Index uses data collected from an independent telephone survey of 765 senior in-house counsel from around the world across a range of industries: 604 of those surveyed were at U.S.-based organizations; the remainder were at multinational firms with legal needs in the United States.

Please register here to join Acritas executives for a webinar briefing on the results of the Acritas U.S. Brand Index 2017, which is being held on Monday, February 13, 2017, at 12:00 pm ET.

About Acritas

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in the U.K., Acritas Research, Ltd., is raising the bar in research of management issues facing law firms and other legal services providers. Using a scientific, data-driven approach, Acritas helps firms address marketing and branding challenges, and provides business intelligence to the global legal marketplace. Its flagship annual Sharplegal survey queries more than 2,000 legal industry decision-makers globally on how legal services are bought and sold. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @acritas.


Acritas US, Inc.
Elizabeth ('Lizzy') Duffy, +1 (646) 480-5738
ERS Services
Fran Del Valle, +1 (212) 717-5499

Release Summary

Acritas releases U.S. Law Firm Brand Index measures brand strength of law firms using data from 765 senior in-house counsel worldwide across many industries. Jones Day ranks #1.


Acritas US, Inc.
Elizabeth ('Lizzy') Duffy, +1 (646) 480-5738
ERS Services
Fran Del Valle, +1 (212) 717-5499