Nearly half of employees at UK top 50 are LinkedIn

New research has revealed that almost half of the 85,000 partners and employees working in the top 50 UK law firms are now on LinkedIn, the professional networking site.

The research, conducted by PR company Kelso Consulting, found that LinkedIn accounts held by employees at the top 50 firms have nearly doubled since 2010, to a significant 47%. The number of people following these firms has also nearly doubled, amounting to approximately 50,000 LinkedIn users. The figures should encourage firms to focus more on LinkedIn, which has thus far not caused as much of a buzz as its big rival, Twitter.

One drawback of the research is that it does not account for the proportion of LinkedIn accounts which are actually active, compared to those set up in an idle lunch hour - meaning that the extent to which big law firms are embracing the online networking revolution remains unclear. However, as reported in Legal Futures, it is apparent that some firms have embraced the professional tool more than others: 68% of Olswang employees were found to use LinkedIn, with Charles Russell also boasting similarly high numbers (64%). Berrymans Lace Mawer had the lowest proportion, at 21%.

Tim Prizeman, owner of Kelso Consulting, said: "It is a reflection of the poor state of the economy that LinkedIn’s use has increased so dramatically over just 12 months. LinkedIn is all about staying in contact with past and present colleagues and clients. Most lawyers know referrals from these are the best source of new clients, so are using it is a logical step in our austere economy. Many business owners, as well as senior executives, have LinkedIn accounts too and regularly use other social media. Many will not be impressed by lawyers with Luddite attitudes towards technology who claim to be providing leading-edge legal advice. Nor will high-flying graduates."

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