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    May 22, 2008  
 
 

SUTHERLAND'S
MADONNA MOMENT


Join us for lunch with three of America's top General Counsels: Freddie Mac's Bob Bostrom, the Washington Post's Veronica Dillon, and American Capital Strategies' Sam Flax (largest publicly-held private equity firm in the US). Wed, May 28, at Il Mulino in DC. Sign up here. Thanks to great sponsors Studley and IMC.


 

The artist formerly known as Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan has joined Cher, Madonna, and the growing list of law‑firm divas going by just one name. From now on, it’s simply Sutherland. Marketing committee member (and international trade partner) Mark Herlach took time out from looting outdated paraphernalia—we visited on Old Logo Giveaway Day—to chat at Sutherland’s Pennsylvania Ave. offices.

 

Mark raises the re-branded mug above the old model (which due to retro status is probably up to $500 on eBay). The conversion began 18 months ago when the marketing committee recommended a major overhaul of the website, opening the door to a name change. Mark says the firm had been talking about it for years (to keep up with the times and, well, everyone calls them Sutherland anyway). For the redesign, Sutherland used Hermann Communications, which interviewed lawyers to determine how the firm perceived itself. Every detail, like the blue and taupe logo, was selected to embody Sutherland’s self-image: “traditional, yet contemporary.” (We assume that calling it taupe instead of grey means they want to be chosen as general counsel for This Old House.)    

 

The official conversion was just two weeks ago, so ROI numbers aren’t in yet, but one verdict is: “The logo looks good on baseball caps.” The positive results of the website update are more tangible—easier internal file sharing (with virtual document rooms) and more user-friendly for clients, with faster searching. As for the occasional traditionalist, Mark reminds us this isn’t the firm’s first change. Founding partner Elbert Tuttle’s name was removed many years ago, yet the firm proudly remembers the Presidential Medal of Honor awardee whose opinions as a Fifth Circuit judge furthered the civil rights movement. Judging by the mints emblazoned with the new logo (it’s not a bribe if you eat it before you leave), Sutherland has thought of every detail to make the transition as smooth as possible.

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Zegna Adrian Jules Dormeuil email