The research, carried out by PR agency Golin, ranks the top 50 legal firms by media presence including Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy.
While Clifford Chance has both the highest revenue and tops the table in terms of media presence, many of the other big names fail to secure the column inches to match their billings.
Linklaters, Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills and Slaughter & May are among the top most profitable firms but do not appear in the top 10 rankings for media coverage. Meanwhile, Irwin Mitchell and Pinsent Masons are not among the top 10 in terms of turnover, yet their media presence ranks well.
The report also looks at the press coverage of the senior partners at the UK’s top 50 law firms. Nigel Knowles of DLA Piper was the executive who gained the most coverage, with Simon Davies of Linklaters following closely behind. Andrew Leaitherland, managing director and CEO of DWF, appears in third place.
The report shows that lawyers get a rough ride in the press – the industry scored a favourability rating of minus six per cent on Golin’s index, compared with more positive scores for other industries such as health (+15 per cent), food (+19.8 per cent) and technology (+29.1 per cent).
Bibi Hilton, managing director of Golin London, said: "The results of our study demonstrate that having a high profile or massive turnover isn’t always enough to secure media coverage. Conversely, the study also shows that smaller firms are not immune from the tough media scrutiny the legal industry is under."