Clifford Chance relinquished its prime position, let down by relatively low profitability and a declining income stream, according to a study produced by brand valuation consultancy Intangible Business. The magic circle firm's brand value was £1.39bn.
The study concludes that Linklaters' brand value has been driven largely by steady growth and healthy profit margins.
Intangible Business managing director Thayme Forbes said Eversheds, which ranked eighth with a brand value of £469m, was "underperforming". The firm has a healthy marketing spend but is let down by its low profitability.
And while Slaughter and May undoubtedly spends less on marketing than firms such as Eversheds, many will be surprised to see arguably the UK's most prestigious firm languishing in ninth place.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is placed third with its brand valued at £1.31bn, closing the gap on Clifford Chance with increased profit margins and a recent investment in marketing.
Allen & Overy came in fourth position with healthy profitability and sound growth prospects contributing to its brand value of £1.16bn.
Lovells, DLA Piper Rud-nick Gray Cary and Herbert Smith take positions six, seven and eight.