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There is really nothing like a company rebrand to set off a buzz of excitement here at Elephant Creative HQ and few have been so bold and eye-catching as that of Freeth Cartright LLP earlier this month, now Freeths. This isn’t simply a new website and logo re-design, oh no, it’s a wholesale change to the name, style and presentation of the brand – whilst maintaining the ethos of the Nottingham-based firm.

We’ve got to say, we are impressed. From the slick new website and the playful tagline ‘Freethinking’, to the on-brand messages ‘More than just lawyers; Building Trust; Delivering Results’ and the change of name (or rather streamlining of the old name), it sits together as a perfect package.

The firm’s previous website (below) and style was by no means stale or behind the times, with its classic and strong colours, white clean website, and traditional founding partners’ company name – it was altogether ‘very law’.

However, what the new website (below) and brand is, to put it plainly, ‘is not so very law’. What on earth do we mean by this? Well, the brand and website doesn’t shout ‘boring legal website’ – in fact you could be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled on the website of a flashy marketing firm. And that’s no bad thing. Of course clients are going to Freeths for legal advice and they want to know and feel that it is a trusted, professional law firm with a great track record…but they want more than that.

These days consumers are bombarded with so many brands, and we’re all competing on a level playing field, no matter what industry sector we are in. People using the web are accustomed to modern, brand-heavy sites from anyone from McDonalds to Apple and therefore expectations for what a website should look like and ‘work-like’ (usability) are extremely high. It doesn’t matter if you are a food retailer, a clothing brand or a law firm, the expectations remain the same.

In line with many international law firms, Freeths has ditched the traditional law firm style site, in favour of a clean, modern and eye-catching design – and shortening the name is again a nod to losing the stuffy legal image. At the end of the day, as managing partner of the Manchester Office John May said himself, it’s what people referred to them as anyway – does anyone ever use the whole long name of many law firms in everyday speech?

“We have changed our name to the name most of our clients know us by. Our clean, crisp image reflects the way we do business; to the point and practical, answers not options,” said May, on a blog on the firm’s website.

“The name change fits in with our plans as the firm grows nationally, merging with quality firms in strategic locations. We have 121 partners and more than 600 staff and 11 offices having recently opened in Leeds city centre.”

The firm has ambitious plans to reach a £100m turnover by 2020, which explains such a bold re-design. The clever tagline Freethinking is right on the money, demonstrating individuality, personality and intelligence. It is closely aligned to one of their strategic marketing messages – thought-leadership, for which the firm has become recognised.

Central to the website is their thought-leadership section, which includes a raft of different blogs on particular topics, from real estate and family law, to Manchester business news. Darn it – this law firm has even got podcasts you can sign up for on the website covering different areas of the law!

We also like the ‘people’ section of the website, with full length images of each employee, together with not only all their contact details and a short profile, but also their recent projects and deals, client testimonials and recommendations from legal guides – a nice touch.

Under ‘Who we are’, we’re not just given the standard one page synopsis of the company and its heritage, Freeths want to tell us about their culture, values, corporate responsibility, diversity, equality and inclusiveness, charity work they are involved in and awards they’ve received – all broken down into different sections on the website.

May added: “Our rebrand sets us up for the next decade and beyond. We’ve really been one of the legal firm success stories over the last 10 years.

“With just three offices a decade ago, we now have a leading reputation nationally in our quest to become one of the country’s national players. We live by our strap line, Freethinking”

Let us know what you think about the Freeth rebrand, either by leaving a comment below, or tweeting us at @ElephantCreate