Data and Methodology

100% Direct from Clients—Spontaneous Awareness of Over 420 Law Firms

BTI’s analysis measures top-of-mind recognition of 422 law firms based on unbiased, direct feedback from 639 in-depth interviews with corporate counsel at the world’s largest organizations. During the course of one-on-one in-depth interviews conducted between March 2014 and September 2015, BTI probed clients as to which law firms they associate with the 9 distinct characteristics driving the selection, consideration and hire of new law firms.

Each and every law firm included in BTI Brand Elite 2016: Client Perceptions of the Best-Branded Law Firms is the direct result of a specific unprompted client citation. We did not present clients with any law firms, by name, for the purpose of this analysis.

3 Core Success Factors and 9 Elements of Law Firm Brand

The critical aspects included in BTI’s definition of law firm brand are the direct result of more than 4,500 interviews with buyers of legal services over the past 15 years. Corporate counsel isolated 9 key brand-related elements driving their decision to select, consider and hire a particular law firm. These are:


The Clients We Interview

This analysis includes interviews with decision-makers at top-spending companies:

  • Average revenue of $18.2 billion
  • Median revenue of $4.7 billion
  • General Counsel/Chief Legal Officer
  • Direct Report to General Counsel
  • Other Legal Decision Makers

Research is BTI’s Core Expertise

Our research team includes some of the most respected, oft-quoted experts in the legal industry. Our analysts boast extensive training in statistics, survey technique and analytical methods. They have degrees from top universities and business schools and 5 or more years of practical experience in such applicable fields as professional services marketing, accounting, strategic research and economic and management consulting. Our interviewers are all college-educated and average more than 20 years of experience interviewing C-level and top executives.

BTI conducts all interviews using multiple techniques. These include:

  • Structured Questions
  • Quantitative Questions
  • Forward-looking Questions
  • Experience-based Questions

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