Skip to main content

Naming Your Competitors in Your Law Firm Marketing

Lawyers are generally a pretty genteel group.  We may compete directly, but it’s exceedingly rare to mention them by name in public.

Perhaps a decade ago, intellectual property firm Oblon Spivak identified top IP law firms in a couple ads like this.  It wasn’t particularly controversial, because it wasn’t negative.  They were basically naming most of the nation’s best IP firms — and declaring themselves in this rarified group.

Oblon 2

Here’s a detail:

Blog Oblon 2

More unusual would be to specifically name your competitors, then directly dismiss them.

That’s what Chicago-based litigation boutique Valorem Law is doing on its website.  An innovative leader in the alternative fees category, Valorem specifically names two well-known, Chicago-based large firms, Kirkland & Ellis and McDermott Will & Emery, and derides companies who would hire them for “CYA” purposes under the headline “Don’t Litigate By Fear.”

Then they throw down the Courage gauntlet:

“If you are selecting your litigators out of fear, don’t use Valorem. Try Kirkland, McDermott or any other BigLaw firm so when your CEO or Board of Directors asks about the result you got, you can point to that firm’s letterhead and feel relief — at least until the bill arrives….” 

Valorem Don't Litigate by Fear Kirkland McDermott


It’s a gutsy move, but it’s directly on point with their message.  

Valorem competes against these firms.  More importantly, they compete against THE IDEA of these firms.  The CYA security sought by weak-willed purchasers who would rather dramatically overpay for a Brand Name Firm, when they could get the same quality for much less, if they only had sufficient guts and integrity.

That’s not what they say, but that seems to be what they mean.  

Valorem home page Don't Litigate by Fear

It’s a gutsy move.  Good for them.

All images copyrighted.