Legal Business Blogs

Linklaters gets the client vote as annual GC poll shows elite firms tightening their grip

Linklaters has again been awarded top marks as an external adviser in Legal Business‘ fourth annual in-house survey, emerging as the clear overall favourite for both quality of advice on high-profile, strategic matters, as well as ranking first overall for value for money.

Our 2015 survey, which drew responses on a range of topics from 458 in-house lawyers at major companies operating in the UK, provided the Magic Circle with a clear vote of confidence from the client community.

Linklaters, Slaughter and May, Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer took the top four spots respectively for strategic high-quality legal advice, while Linklaters also took first place, as a new entrant, in the best value for money table, along with Clifford Chance and usual suspects Eversheds, Addleshaw Goddard, Osborne Clarke and Pinsent Masons.

Commenting on the ranking, Linklaters capital markets partner Jason Manketo said: ‘Delivering matters more efficiently to our clients is a key priority for the firm. It has been for some time and is making a real difference to our operations. Our approach is to focus on a comprehensive set of initiatives – not just on lower-cost resourcing. As such, we continue to invest heavily in knowledge and technology; we are identifying more cost-effective options in the running of matters through mapping and project management, and are relying on a wide range of lower-cost options to complement our offering.’

In-house attitudes towards the non-law firm providers of legal services remain mixed, with just 18% of respondents being positive towards the role and services these New Law providers offer. However, the renewed push by the accountancy firms into legal services has been noted, with PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG all gaining recognition behind Axiom, which took first place again.

With nearly two thirds (60%) of respondents rating their preferred firms as ‘good’ for providing value for money against 35% who rated them as ‘fair’, the survey also showed demand for external legal services has increased, with close to half (44%) of respondents stating that their demand had risen. Connected to this, there has been a slight downward shift in the percentage of companies with a policy of retaining work internally, with 71% of in-house counsel having a firm policy in place to keep matters in-house, down from 81% two years ago.

The research also showed that many who pursue a career in-house are in it for the long haul, with 74% saying they see themselves having a long-term career as a lawyer working in-house, while 76% said they felt personally satisfied in their job.

For the full in-house report, subscribers can read: ‘The In-House Lawyer Survey 2015: Balancing Acts’