Three top tier Baltic law firms were forming an alliance to adapt to the change in their market place for the demand for cross-border specialist legal services. This transformation required new naming, strategic positioning and an understanding of the challenges the new alliance would face in the legal sector.
SCOPE OF WORK
With the ambition to reshape the legal market in the Baltics, the region’s three strongest and most highly ranked firms turned to Peek to name and brand their new alliance. The three firms joining the new alliance are:
- Raidla Ellex, which is based in Tallinn, Estonia and led by founder and Senior Partner, Jüri Raidla. Known for their expertise in Corporate, Real Estate and Transport practice areas.
- Klavins Ellex, which resides in Riga, Latvia and is led by partners Filips Klavins and Raimonds Slaidiņš who originally practised law in the USA before returning to Latvia to establish their Tier 1 firm specialising in Financial, Corporate and Real Estate.
- Valiunas Ellex, which is set in the heart of Vilnius, Lithuania and headed up by Managing Partner, Rolandas Valiunas. Their key areas are Mergers & Acquisitions, Joint ventures and Corporate Governance.
Our challenge was to understand how to unite, shape and brand the three firms in a compressed timeframe. The firms decided to create a new, unifying brand design to consolidate ‘the very best of the Baltics legal services’ under a single, clearly signposted name. The only problem was they didn’t yet have a name, and they were committed to launching the newly branded alliance in 3 months.
Add to this the complexity that each firm needed to retain its firm name and have a discrete identity within the alliance as they were still all independent firms. The vision of the new alliance was to be the first choice in the Baltics for international clients – the name for this new alliance needed to be recognisable on a global scale.
Our approach was to develop several solutions to the brand naming question. We considered and researched these approaches to find what if any conflicts existed in the marketplace, assessing the relative merits of each name as we went. The key messages and strengths of each name were then tested and presented. The internal teams could then quickly interrogate our findings and feedback as to which approach they felt most comfortable progressing with.
Can the name convey all the right brand values? The criteria for a new name was that it needed to be perceived as a trustworthy and reliable choice for diligent clients who appreciate legal security and the mitigation of risks. It is not about what laws do prohibit, it’s about finding out-of-the-box solutions to move the business forward.
- We undertook stakeholder interviews in the three Baltic countries as well as in the key markets that the new organisation wanted to operate to understand the challenges they faced and the requirements of those markets.
- Peek undertook an international positioning review to understand more about the framework in which the new brand would be operating – taking into consideration relevance, differentiation, credibility and attainability and carrying out a SWOT analysis on the three firms.
- We found that the combined size and depth allows the three firms to cover a wide range of legal issues. Knowledge of both local and EU laws will enable them to see future trends and solve a particular client’s problem by having a broader perspective.
The strategy of ‘a branded house’ rather than a ‘house of brands’ led the direction of the individual firm identities. Each firm clearly visually identified itself with the Ellex brand guidelines enabling them to promote themselves with consistent on-brand messaging while communicating their unique values.
Peek presented the name of the Ellex Circle and the underlining strapline of Experience success.
“Peek did a fantastic job in such a short amount of time. We were concerned that our timeframe was just too unrealistic to achieve such a complex brief, but they kept us informed at each stage of the process and produced a fantastic result.”
Once the new name had been agreed on, work quickly moved on to the brand development and brand implementation. The brand had to work well in several languages and markets.
The logotype and global e-mark were developed to endorse the Ellex logotype and convey the global nature of the firms' reach and outlook. The e-mark reflects the unique position of the Baltics, looking both west towards Europe and east towards Russia, the CIS and Eurasia.
The result is a bold, confident and inspiring brand that has the versatility to adapt to the individual requirements of the constituent firms and deliver a consistent message in each of its markets.
Ellex Circle members are now distinguished by high-quality standards, extensive experience and their leading experts. They advise leading local and multinational companies in all sectors of industry, from financial institutions, investors, associations and public-law bodies. Leading international law firms such as Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Freshfields, Linklaters, Skadden Arps and White & Case choose Ellex as a local counsel for projects in the Baltics.