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Nick West, LexisNexis Director of Legal Markets, discusses what change in the US market can tell us about the future of legal business in the UK.
Law Firm leaders say the market has changed. Permanently.
Altman Weil, a leading management consulting firm in the law firm market, recently published a report entitled “Law Firms in Transition” reporting the results of a survey of Managing Partners of 792 US firms (including 40% of the Top 250 largest US firms).
What was immediately obvious from the report was the degree of structural change in the US market. For a series of trends, the survey asked “which of the following legal trends is temporary and which is permanent”. Altman Weil benchmarked the responses against the responses it received back in 2009 when it asked the same questions.
Trends like “More contract lawyers” and “more commoditised legal work” are striking. This is a market which is undergoing and has undergone structural change.
The same trends must apply in the UK market – both because many of these firms play here and because the UK market is changing far quicker than the US on almost every other dimension.
There’s no hiding place. This isn’t just a blip.
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