DJ Freeman, SJ Berwin and Simmons & Simmons were all winners at the first annual The Lawyer Marketing Awards, held at Lord's Cricket Ground in London.
However, judges refused to hand out honours in the Lawtel-sponsored Client Care category because they felt the standard of entries was not of a sufficiently high calibre.
DJ Freeman was awarded Best Corporate Brand, sponsored by Spencer Landor, for developing a strong brand identity which reflects its market focus, and using a full range of marketing tools to reinforce its brand position.
Field Fisher Waterhouse was runner-up. The judges felt the firm had significantly advanced its identity from being anonymous a year ago to reflecting the market it serves and its entrepreneurial nature.
The shortlisted firms were third-placed Kennedy's, Clifford Chance and Rowe & Maw.
However, the judges felt that despite some very good entries the overall standard of submissions was disappointing and that firms have some way to go in creating clearly differentiated, dynamic and strong brand positions.
SJ Berwin won the Zarak Group Marketing-sponsored Best Recruitment Campaign for its “Plums” recruitment campaign. The judges felt it was a particularly creative piece of work and a thoroughly thought through, well themed campaign which clearly differentiates the firm's position from any other in the market.
The runner-up was Shoosmiths for not only managing to differentiate the firm, but also demonstrate the effectiveness of the campaign, with the number of applicants up by 50 per cent.
Herbert Smith's advertising campaign was also highly commended for its sheer professionalism and originality in its appeal to more senior corporate finance lawyers as part of a strategic campaign to improve its corporate offering/reputation. Other shortlisted firms included Norton Rose and Simmons & Simmons.
Best Use of New Media, sponsored by interactive-lawyer.com, was won by Simmons & Simmons for its interactive legal website “elexica” which goes beyond merely creating a successful website, identifying that access is a key factor in people's adoption of new media.
By launching its own internet service provider, Simmons & Simmons not only made it easy for clients to access its site and surf the net under its branding, but also staked a claim in a growth industry and possibly developed a new revenue stream.
The Lawyer editor-in-chief Sean Brierley says that there are clear signs of progress being made by firms in developing a more sophisticated approach to marketing and that the high level of response to the awards shows that marketing professionals are interested in setting and achieving goals for the future.
To encourage this trend, Brierley says that The Lawyer intends to launch a formal awards ceremony next year for legal marketers with more categories at a more auspicious venue.
The judges were The Lawyer editor-in-chief Sean Brierley; vice-president, legal director and company secretary of Coca-Cola Schweppes Beverages Paul Meadows; Eversheds' director of business development UK and international Simon Slater; Marketing Week editor Stuart Smith; and Paul Caplan, editor of new media marketing magazine E-volve.