Leading law firms have dramatically upped their game when it comes to sharing content online and engaging with social media, research has found. 

According to marketing platform Passle the top 200 firms generated nearly 34,000 pieces of online insight in 2018. That was nearly twice as much as the last time Passle assessed firms’ output, in 2014. 

Researchers ranked firms across eight categories, totting up knowledge pieces created per lawyer per year, as well as overall insight pieces created, LinkedIn followers, Twitter followers and Twitter activity.  

As in 2014, Irwin Mitchell was the best performer, followed by Bird & Bird, Wiggin, Taylor Wessing, Kingsley Napley, CMS, Withers, DAC Beachcroft, Capsticks and Stephens Scown, which is the only other firm that also made the top 10 in 2014. 

The top 20 firms in the table produced nearly 36% of all the content measured, suggesting several firms in the top 200 are failing to engage online or share content. While researchers found many large firms doing little to boost their online presence in 2014, by 2018 they appear to have caught up, with the likes of Herbert Smith Freehills, Gowling WLG, Eversheds Sutherland, Fieldfisher and DLA Piper all ranked in the leading 20 firms for output. 

The top 200 collectively now have many more followers on Twitter (904,522, up 152% on 2014) – although only three have more 30,000 (DLA Piper, Allen & Overy and Irwin Mitchell) – and the number of tweets they sent out was up 49% to 126,162. 

While firms are more active on Twitter, they are more likely to have greater numbers of followers on LinkedIn, with an average of more than 9,000 connections. 

Adam Elgar, Passle co-founder, said: ‘Many more law firms now understand the importance of not just saying they know what they’re talking about, but proving it by putting expertise in the public domain. People, and businesses, want to work with experts. But as they decide who to instruct, they also want a glimpse of their personality and specialism. Sharing insights online is an ideal way of doing that, and it need not be a time-consuming exercise.’