Straplines and positioning statements provide support for the branding of a business. Within the legal sector there are a number of barristers’ chambers using both straplines and positioning statements to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Tela has analysed each of the top 50 barristers’ chambers straplines and positioning statements. Each of the straplines and positioning statements has been taken from the website home page so that they could be analysed and grouped to offer an indication of trends within the industry.
The purpose of a strapline and positioning statement is to help differentiate a brand from its main competitors. They not only have a huge impact on brand recognition but they also massively help with positioning the brand. They will help portray the strengths and values of a chamber in order to give the audience an insight and overview of unique selling points and specialist expertise.
The positioning statement and strapline of a chambers should provide a unique description of the organisation, differentiating them from other chambers with the same specialist areas.
What is a Brand Positioning Statement?
Positioning statements are used to help communicate the values and benefits that your brand can bring to its audience, differentiating it from its competitors. The positioning statement could potentially include the barristers’ chambers specialisms, awards, quotes and location. It should be transparent, identifying strengths in order to make it stand out.
What is a Strapline?
A strapline is a way of marketing your chambers in just a few words. It doesn’t necessarily have to be descriptive (that would be a positioning statement) but it should clearly communicate what your chambers are about. It can act as a memory hook for potential new clients as it can help them develop brand recognition.
From the top 50 Barristers’ chambers websites, five have straplines and 40 have positioning statements.
Although quite a few definitions of positioning statements suggest that they are for internal branding purposes, we have used the term ‘positioning statements’ to cover the statements presented on the chamber’s website homepages that help them differentiate themselves from competitors.
|Rank||Barristers’ Chambers||Positioning Statement|
|1||Blackstone Chambers||“The best set in the UK” – Legal 500|
|2||39 Essex Chambers||“39 Essex Chambers is a powerhouse of a set” – Chambers & Partners|
|3=||Brick Court Chambers||A tradition of excellence in Commercial, EU and Competition, and Public Law.|
|3=||Fountain Court||“Chambers of the Year” – Chambers UK Awards|
|5||Matrix Chambers||Matrix is a barristers’ chambers located in London and Geneva. With a strong history of innovation and commitment to our core values,we provide legal services in a wide range of practice areas. Matrix is a place where diversity and accessibility are widely championed, and out-dated practice is challenged.|
|6||Essex Court Chambers||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|7||Doughty Street||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|8||Kings Chambers||“A match for any of the London sets” – Chambers UK|
|9||No5||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|10||Wilberforce Chambers||A dominant force; where “everyone at Wilberforce is at the top of their game” – Chambers & Partners 2017|
|11=||One Essex Court||One Essex Court is a leading set of barristers’ chambers, specialising in commercial disputes. Our members provide specialist advice and advocacy services worldwide, which include all areas of dispute resolution, litigation and arbitration.|
|11=||Maitland Chambers||Maitland Chambers is one of the leading sets of barristers’ chambers in the UK|
|13||Landmark Chambers||Landmark Chambers is a leading chambers in the UK offering integrated advocacy and advice in Planning, Property, Environmental and Public Law.|
|14||11KBW||A leading set of barristers’ chambers specialising in commercial, employment, media and public law.|
|15||3 Verulam Buildings||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|16||4 New Square||Leading commercial set of barristers, comprising 78 independent practitioners of whom 22 are Queen’s Counsel|
|17||Serle Court||“First rate from top to bottom”|
|18||St Philips Chambers||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|19||3 Raymond Buildings Barristers||Three Raymond Buildings is recognised as a leading set of barristers with a national and international reputation.|
|20=||Monckton Chambers||“‘The barristers are all user-friendly, unstuffy, very good at rolling up their sleeves and fun to work with’, and are complemented by the ‘21st century and entrepreneurial-style clerking” – Legal 500, 2016|
|20=||4 Pump Court||We are a leading barristers’ chambers with expertise in commercial, construction, energy, professional negligence, shipping, information technology and telecommunications work.|
|20=||Guildhall Chambers||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|23=||1 Crown Office Row||We are a barristers’ chambers built on a tradition of excellence in civil and public law.|
|23=||Garden Court Chambers||Number one ranked set of barristers based in central London, committed to human rights, social justice and equality. We specialise in civil liberties, community care, criminal defence, family law, housing, immigration and public law.|
|23=||Keating Chambers||“A go-to set for complex construction, engineering, energy & natural resources and infrastructure disputes” – Chambers UK Bar 2016|
|26||Crown Office Chambers||The set “provides a consistently high level of service, and it’s members consistently deliver excellent results” – Chambers UK 2017|
|27||7 King’s Bench Walk||Commercial Litigation Set of the Year, Shipping Set of the Year – Legal 500 Awards 2017, Insurance Set of the Year, Shipping Set of the Year – Chambers UK Bar Awards 2016|
|28=||Serjeants’ Inn Chambers||Clients choose us to steer them through crucial cases, often involving important legal, ethical and social issues.|
|28=||Outer Temple Chambers||“‘An entreprenurial set’,…’more cutting edge and innovative than many of its competitor’.” – Legal 500|
|28=||XXIV Old Buildings||“Full of high-quality individuals at every level” – Legal 500 2016|
|31||Atkin Chambers||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|32=||Exchange Chambers||“Northern Circuit Powerhouse” – The Legal 500, 2016|
|32=||South Square||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|34||Quadrant Chambers||Quadrant Chambers is a leading set of barristers specialising in commercial law.|
|35||20 Essex Street||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|36=||4 Stone Buildings||“A set at the very top of the commercial Chancery Bar.” – Chambers UK|
|36=||Radcliffe Chambers||“The barristers tick all the right boxes, they are on-the-ball and up-to-date” – Chambers UK|
|38||St John’s Chambers||“St Johns Chambers is an innovative set with high-quality barristers who have a collegiate approach” – Legal 500 2016|
|39||2 Bedford Row||A brilliant set boasting a bench of “exceptional criminal advocates” – Chambers UK 2017|
|40=||Old Square Chambers||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|40=||2 Hare Court||Recognised nationally and internationally as one of the leading sets in the UK.|
|40=||5 Stone Buildings||“Firmly at the forefront of traditional chancery matters” – Chambers UK|
|43=||Francis Taylor Building||FTB is a barristers’ chambers with a leading reputation for planning, environment, infrastructure, licensing, compulsory purchase and land valuation, rating, local government, ecclesiastical and religious liberty, regulatory crime and associated aspects of EU law.|
|43=||Enterprise Chambers||“A solid set that handles the full spread of commercial chancery work, but proves particularly strong in property and insolvency matters. It has full national reach, boasting as it does branch offices in Newcastle and Leeds, and is involved in cases on a global scale” – Chambers & Partners 2017|
|45=||Cornerstone Barristers||No positioning statement found on homepage of website.|
|45=||Devereux||We have the people, the expertise and the infrastructure to help our clients to meet the challenges arising from new legislation and rapidly developing case law, whilst also delivering a pragmatic solution to their legal problems.|
|47=||2TG – 2 Temple Gardens||“ultra-efficient, always accomodating” – Chambers UK|
|47=||New Square Chambers||We are a leading set of commercial chancery barristers based in Lincoln’s Inn, London. Our 41 members, including 7 QCs, provide comprehensive expertise and experience. We are recognised by the legal directories as leaders in our fields of practice. Much of our work involves offshore jurisdictions in which we have long-standing reputations. We provide a professional service of the highest standards and we work collaboratively with our clients and their advisers.|
|49||Littleton Chambers||“An outstanding set with an impressive history of involvement in difficult and precedent-setting cases”|
|50=||Erskine Chambers||We are specialists in corporate transactions and disputes, restructuring and insolvency, financial services and commercial litigation. We combine technical expertise with a commercial, pragmatic approach to legal issues.|
|50=||6KBW College Hill||For over 70 years we have worked at the forefront of the criminal law and related areas of public and civil law. We are recognised nationally and internationally for our strengths as advocates and advisers.|
Considering the purpose of a positioning statement, they are very useful things for barristers’ chambers to have, both for internal and external marketing purposes. They can be used to give a short description of the chambers and their selling points. As a result of this, it is surprising to see that only 15 out of the 40 with positioning statements mention the word ‘barristers’. Similarly, only 9 contain the word ‘law’ and 12 contain the word ‘legal’.
Brick Court Chambers show an example of a very short positioning statement. It not only uses language that builds confidence, it also focuses on the practice areas they specialise in. In 12 words they have been able to describe the chambers in a positive and professional manner.
“A tradition of excellence in Commercial, EU and Competition, and Public Law.”
New Square Chambers offer a good example of a positioning statement that gives a detailed but concise description, and also uses persuasive language to help differentiate them from their competitors.
“We are a leading set of commercial chancery barristers based in Lincoln’s Inn, London. Our 41 members, including 7 QCs, provide comprehensive expertise and experience. We are recognised by the legal directories as leaders in our fields of practice. Much of our work involves offshore jurisdictions in which we have long-standing reputations. We provide a professional service of the highest standards and we work collaboratively with our clients and their advisers.”
20 of the positioning statements were created using quotes mentioning the chambers in legal directories. As these quotes are so important in the industry, they are an easy way for barristers’ chambers to offer a description of who they are and what they are about, from an outsider’s perspective.
Monckton Chambers have a good example of a positioning statement which has been taken from a quote they received:
“‘The barristers are all user-friendly, unstuffy, very good at rolling up their sleeves and fun to work with’, and are complemented by the ‘21st century and entrepreneurial-style clerking” – Legal 500, 2016
Only 8 out of the 40 chambers with positioning statements contained reference to a location. This was either through a mention of the office locations or if their reach was both national and international. Although it isn’t always necessary to include the location in the positioning statement, it can serve as a differentiating factor. Garden Court Chambers use location in their statement to help position themselves in practice areas that are particularly competitive.
“Number one ranked set of barristers based in central London, committed to human rights, social justice and equality. We specialise in civil liberties, community care, criminal defence, family law, housing, immigration and public law.”
Garden Court also focus on a number of their specialist practice areas to give an overview of the type of service they provide, relevant to their strengths in law. Considering that mentioning practice areas is a good way of differentiating a chamber, it is interesting that there are only 9 in total that mention them in positioning statements.
Straplines are much catchier and shorter in comparison to positioning statements. They can act as a memory hook for your clients, which again will be a differentiating factor amongst competitors.
|Rank||Barristers’ Chambers||Strap line|
|5||Matrix Chambers||We act on what matters|
|26||Crown Office Chambers||Legal Advice & Representation|
|28||Serjeants’ Inn Chambers||Trusted when it’s critical|
|46||Devereux||Excellent barristers who truly add value|
|50||Erskine Chambers||Strategic advisors. Pursuasive advocates.|
Only 5 of the top 50 barristers chambers have straplines featured on the homepage of their website. The majority of these contain confidence building words such as “trusted”, “persuasive” and “excellence”. This language helps make the strapline more memorable as they give an insight into the service clients can expect to receive. They also come across as being slightly more persuasive in their language and tone.
Crown Office have opted for a very simple yet transparent strapline to describe exactly what they do. As this is a much shorter strapline, it is something that would be easy to replicate across online and offline marketing material.
“Legal Advice & Representation”
In contrast, Sergeants Inn Chambers use their strapline to present a persuasive and memorable phrase on the homepage of their website. It helps build confidence with prospective clients as it uses the word ‘trusted’, and implies a sense of urgency and importance with the word ‘critical’. It implies that they are going to to be a trusted chamber to use in an emergency.
“Trusted when it’s critical”
Devereaux Chambers also use the same approach. Their strapline is similar to Sergeants Inn Chambers strapline, with the use of confidence building words that make them stand out from their competitors.
“Excellent barristers who truly add value”
With such a small number of the top 50 barristers chambers having straplines displayed on the homepage of their websites, there is opportunity for development in this area which could help chambers differentiate themselves from competitors.
List of barristers’ chambers collected from Chambers & Partners