Clayton Utz is to rebrand this financial year in a bid to communicate its regional integration more effectively and to highlight its non-transactional practice
The move follows the integration of its six state offices in July 2000. The 185-partner firm has been advised by brand design consultancy The Partners, which also worked on the 1999 merger between UK magic circle firm Clifford Chance and New York's Rogers & Wells. Brad Vann, the Claytons partner in charge of the project, said that the overhaul of branding and positioning began after the firm witnessed similar steps being taken by many of its corporate clients. "The corporate world is changing dramatically, and it's clear that brand is now an important part of business," he said. "A significant amount of endeavour is put into monitoring your brand and what it means." During the past six months, the firm has conducted a series of internal and external audits, surveying partners, lawyers, shared services staff and clients. It also sought the views of prospective client organisations and assessed the brands of professional services organisations in other countries. Chief executive partner David Fagan said that the feedback gained throughout the audit process had helped the firm to understand its culture and to assess its current position in the market. He said that the partnership had also identified opportunities for growth, and earmarked areas where change may be necessary. "The branding exercise is being done to ensure we reflect the single integrated firm that we now operate," said Fagan. "We've looked at what we believe distinguishes the firm from our competitors, and where we see opportunities in the marketplace. We've found that we have a fairly entrepreneurial reputation - very focused, aggressive, and very much on the client side, especially in litigation." Fagan said that the exercise was also carried out to scotch the widely-held assumption that the firm was a purely transactional practice. "I actually see us as a mixture," he said. "We have a good transactional base and I wouldn't want to lose it, but we're also focused on our core clients and we're seeing a significant growth in revenue from those clients. I'm very happy to have that situation, especially in the current market." Rebranding will begin with next month's roll-out of the firm's new website, but the process will be ongoing. On the table for discussion are matters ranging from the development of a new visual identity to educating staff in the new firm vision.