Branding / Creative / Web Design / Print


Established over 55 years ago, Hugh James is a full service, top UK 100 law firm with its headquarters in Cardiff and their second office in London. The firm offers a wide range of legal services for individuals, businesses and public sector organisations.

The Brief

The original brief was to carry out a ‘brand refresh’, which would move the brand forward without losing some of its identifiable features, like the Hugh James diamond. The Hugh James logo and brand identity had been in place for many years and were in need of modernising to match the firm’s position as a leading UK-wide law firm.

Their objectives included growing their share of London business and devising a creative strategy that effectively communicated the brand’s key messages. With such a wide range of specialist legal services on offer, one of the challenges was ensuring that each different customer type was aware that Hugh James could help them solve their specific legal issue.

A creative strategy was needed that could communicate these different messages and provide a compelling reason why customers should choose Hugh James over other law firms.

The Starting Point

We looked at where Hugh James was currently positioned in the market alongside their key competitors. Briefing sessions with each of the departments in the business helped us to build an understanding of the services they offered and the needs and motivations of the different customer types who used them. These thoughts and insights were collected into a strategy document, which we shared with the marketing team at Hugh James.

The Insight

Differentiating between law firms proved a challenge since they generally offer the same services. However, a law firm relies on the quality of its people, the work they deliver and the relationships that they build with their clients. From our research, we discovered that there was a certain type of person who worked at Hugh James. They shared common values, enjoyed their work and, most importantly, built trust and strong relationships with their clients. They did this by understanding exactly what their clients were going through so that they could find the legal solution that was right for them. This formed the basis for the strapline that we created for the brand.



A simple refresh of the logo wasn’t enough. We needed something radically different and bold enough to reposition Hugh James alongside, if not above, their national and London-based competitors. Having produced a number of options, there was a clear favourite.

Colours & Icons

We developed a colour palette and icon style to clearly identify Hugh James' different customer types. The Hugh James red was also updated to a more modern and vibrant red.


Creative Strategy

Avoiding stock shots of cityscapes or stuffy-looking lawyers in front of leather-bound books, we wanted to put the Hugh James people at the heart of the creative strategy. After all, they were behind the success of the brand. We commissioned a series of informal black and white photographs of Hugh James staff. We also created a detailed set of brand guidelines and a tone-of-voice matrix that highlighted the differing language styles for each client type. This was then reflected in all marketing materials, including a new design for the Hugh James website.

"From the outset, UpriseVSI took a collaborative and partnership approach to the project and helped guide us through the whole rebrand process. They took the time to understand our business, our vision and our values and it is a testament to the quality of their work that the feedback on our new brand has been unanimously positive from both staff and clients alike."

Joe Purcell
Head of Business Development & Marketing,
Hugh James

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