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September 27, 2011 6:44 PM

Locke Lord Is Now Just...Locke Lord

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Locke Lord is slimming down.

Following the lead of such other firms as Cooley and Paul Hastings, the Dallas-based firm formerly known as Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell announced Tuesday that it has cut its name in half.

"The name, as it was before, was a mouthful," firm chairman Jerry Clements told Am Law Daily sibling publication The Texas Lawyer. The shorter name, Clements said, "acknowledges what people are already calling us and what we call ourselves."

Locke Lord partners approved the change over the summer. The firm held back on announcing the switch until a new logo was ready for use on marketing materials, the Locke Lord Web site, and office signage.

The name change comes some four years after the 2007 merger between Locke Liddell & Sapp, then based in Dallas and Houston, and Chicago's Lord, Bissell & Brook. The 651-lawyer firm has 11 offices in the U.S. and locations in London and Hong Kong. According to the most recent Am Law 100 figures, Locke Lord had $396 million gross revenues in 2010. 

The move among law firms toward more concise names follows a trend in corporate America to create short, punchy brands, says Paul Herrmann, chief executive at branding firm Herrmann Advertising Design in Annapolis, Maryland.

"Long (names) say 'old and stodgy,'" Herrmann says. "If you think of some of the best brands in America, they're usually pretty short names."

Earlier this year, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker shortened its moniker to Paul Hastings. Last year, both Husch Blackwell (formerly Husch Blackwell Sanders) and Cooley (previously Cooley Godward Kronish) scrapped their longer names. At the time it made the switch, Cooley said it wanted its brand to better reflect how clients and colleagues already referred to the firm. 

A shorter name can also help give extra heft to a corporate logo, since fewer characters often pack more punch, Hermann says: "Wherever you see the logo, you will end up with more awareness of the name, which is critical."

Locke Lord didn't scrap its entire corporate identity. The logo on its Web site displays the same scarlet background it did before the name change, only now there are two names stacked where four once lined up beneath a horizontal acronym.

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