Law firm brands are built over years, so when a merger comes along brands are more often than not among the most contentious of issues.
Take Clyde & Co and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG), for example. It was a closely guarded secret that the BLG brand would be dropped following the firm’s merger, for fear that some partners might take offence. It may have been a serious sticking point but so far, so good.
Over at Russell Jones & Walker (part of Slater & Gordon Lawyers), the firm’s management is grappling with some frustrating brand issues following its merger with the Australian listed firm.
It has not gone unnoticed that the new brand is a bit of a mouthful and not one that will be easily remembered once the firm launches a fullscale marketing drive - it is understood that a television advertising campaign is in the offing. Management have been left scratching their heads as to what to do.
The easiest thing would be to drop the ‘Russell Jones & Walker’ for RJW, but the firm’s powerful client base apparently is not too keen on that.
The firm is the go-to legal adviser for members of the Police Federation and it is believed the organisation is reluctant to embrace a brand alteration on the part of its lawyers. The federation is proud of its association with the firm and change, for some, can be confusing.
All this leaves the firm in a bit of a bind. It wants to expand and knows it needs to do so using the new brand, but not at the expense of its client base. A conundrum.