Welcome to Principia Brand Consultants

We specialise in advising the world’s most prestigious international legal, accountancy and architectural firms on brand strategy, messaging and identity. A track record of success developed over two decades has helped our team build its reputation as the world’s leading advisors in the sector.

Brand in professional services is, in the end, all about reputation, and reinforcing or growing a firm’s reputation matters more than ever in an increasingly global and digital economy where relationships are becoming more complex, diverse and multi-polar.

Our ambition is simple. We use our unrivalled depth of knowledge and experience to give our clients competitive advantage; putting them at the cutting-edge of thinking and execution in the increasingly important and challenging task of defining and projecting a powerful and consistent brand to clients, prospects and recruits around the world.



Ian Stephens

Founder & CEO

Ian is Principia’s Founder and CEO. He is a branding specialist with an extensive track record of advising major corporations including Unilever, Bank of America and Walmart and some of the world’s most prestigious international professional services firms across a range of sectors including law, accountancy and architecture.

A strategist by background, Ian leads all of Principia’s client engagements, working with the firm’s team of consultants and designers to deliver projects from research and brand strategy development through to design, messaging and implementation of key applications.

His client experience in the professional services sector includes law firms: Ashurst, Baker McKenzie, Covington, Debevoise, Linklaters, Weil and White & Case; management consulting firms: PWC, KPMG and PA Consulting and architectural firms: Arup and Perkins Eastman.

His work has taken him all around the world’s commercial and money centres interviewing buyers of professional services at FTSE and Fortune 100 companies and advising partners on how to position their firms to gain long-term competitive advantage.

Ian’s clients have commented that his stand-out strength is in his ability to “step up in front of a room full of senior partners and lead them through a meaningful discussion on branding for their firm” and “engage even the most sceptical partners”. His approach is said to be “thoughtful and jargon-free and highly focused on developing consensus.

Recognised as a global leader in his field, Ian frequently writes and comments on branding issues for major publications and institutions. He is also regarded as a strong public speaker; once sharing a conference platform with President Bill Clinton (although to be honest the President almost certainly wasn’t aware he was sharing it with Ian!) and is also frequently invited to make keynote speeches and presentations at firms’ annual retreats on the subject of branding and innovation.

Prior to founding Principia, Ian was Managing Partner of Saffron Brand Consultants from 2006 to 2016 and Principal of Wolff Olins from 1999 to 2006.

Where We've Worked

Our experience working with professional service firms over the last 15 years has taken us to all the places you might expect and some that you might not. We’re global in our outlook and have been engaged by many international firms headquartered in both the US and Europe in just about equal measure. We’ve conducted work on the ground in the following cities:

New York / London / Paris / Hong Kong / Chicago / Beijing / Washington / Sydney / Atlanta / Sao Paulo / Miami / Frankfurt / San Francisco / Johannesburg / Munich / Rome / Madrid / Copenhagen / Melbourne / Dubai / Shanghai / Boston / Philadelphia / Los Angeles / Brussels / Stockholm / Mumbai