For the first time in five years, a new firm tops the U.S. Law Firm Brand Index: Kirkland & Ellis. Compiled annually by Thomson Reuters, the 2021 index saw considerable reshuffling among the top 10 brands.

Latham & Watkins rose to the second spot, and Jones Day – which topped the list for the previous four years – ranked third. Skadden is the only firm to maintain its position – fourth – from last year’s index. Ranking fifth is DLA Piper, which rose four spots from its 2020 ranking.

Rounding out the top 10 are Morgan Lewis, Sibley, Gibson Dunn, Baker McKenzie and Hogan Lovells. The top 20 saw several ties as well as the biggest riser in the index, Faegre Drinker, which soared to tie for the 16th spot with Littler Mendelson. Four other firms – Reed Smith, K&L Gates, Ogletree Deakins and King & Spalding – made significant jumps to place in the top 15.

The U.S. Law Firm Brand Index reflects which firms are upper-most in clients’ minds. It measures which firms are considered most top of mind and most favored by American buyers of legal services, and are most considered for top-level litigation as well as high-value and M&A work. The index is based on data compiled from a Sharplegal market research study of the global legal market across 55 countries with more than 2,000 senior in-house counsel, as well as 746 interviews conducted with senior legal buyers in the U.S.

Check out the full 2021 U.S. Law Firm Brand Index here.

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