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Case Study : Van Steenbrugge Advocaten

Doing a lawyer’s reputation justice


While I was driving towards my first appointment with Walter Van Steenbrugge, I heard him live on the radio news on the way over. During that meeting, two journalists from national TV and one editor for a French newspaper interrupted us. I would learn that this was not an unusual day at the office of VSA.
Whether we could generate this kind of impact on new media? Now there was a challenge for Brandtag.

Online Audit


First, we mapped reach and engagement of all online channels for Van Steenbrugge Advocaten, on both Earned and Owned media. The audit learnt us there was ample room for progress, especially on their own media. We identified four main issues:

  • apart from some individual accounts, the firm was not present on social media

  • VSA had a database with contacts, but it was not yet GDPR compliant and not actively used

  • while offline media were monitored on a daily basis, there was no structured online media monitoring in place

  • although the website featured a news section, it was hard to find due mainly to navigation issues

Content Strategy

Next, we started a Social Workshop with all lawyers to define our content strategy. Our main challenge here was to present Van Steenbrugge Advocaten as a law firm that is active in three domains: sports law, corporate law and criminal law. While Walter Van Steenbrugge was already famous for his high-profile cases in criminal law, only few people associated Van Steenbrugge Advocaten with sports law, and even fewer with corporate law. Following the conclusions of our audit, we defined a content and channel strategy.

  • Create specialised long-tail content in the three law domains and push these articles via owned media

  • Activate social media for the sharing of the content amongst both broad and specialised audiences

  • Make the contact database GDPR compliant and reactivate the newsletter with the most-read content on a monthly basis

  • Actively monitor for online mentions of Van Steenbrugge Advocaten and amplify them with our owned media

  • Get top-topical: write opinions about relevant events in the areas of sports law or corporate law that generate a lot of buzz

  • Use the improved website as the hub where all content is centralised and use website visits as the main KPI

Van Steenbrugge Advocaten is the first legal firm in Belgium that offers Reputation Management on top of its legal services

Reputation Management

Walter Van Steenbrugge with Ivan Leko - former coach of Club Brugge

Walter Van Steenbrugge with Ivan Leko - former coach of Club Brugge

Self promotion is one thing. The reputation of your clients is another.
The lawyers of VSA pride themselves to go all the way in defending the interests of their clients. Often, these clients need legal defence in a court of law. Even more frequently, these battles are fought in the arena of the public opinion. Regardless of the verdict of a judge or jury, entire reputations are made or broken in cases that stir the social debate.

That’s why we also implemented online reputation management for Van Steenbrugge Advocaten.
For some of his high-profile clients, we monitor both mentions and sentiment 24/7. Alerts are automatically triggered when highly influential media talk about them. The lawyers can then decide with the client to use the appropriate follow-up actions that are defined in flows, leaving as little as possible to improvisation.


With an updated website, an active use of social media channels and a solid content strategy, Van Steenbrugge Advocaten has an online presence that is on par with its offline reputation. This resulted in:

  • increased awareness of Van Steenbrugge Advocaten in the areas of Sports Law and Corporate Laws

  • a 150% increase in organic monthly website visits

On top of that, by offering online reputation management to its services, Van Steenbrugge Advocaten has truly innovated in a rather conservative sector. It goes to show that when they say they go all the way in defending their clients, they really mean business.

If you want to know more about how we can help you, why not drop us a line?