Law firms—think like a business first and a law firm second

Law firms—think like a business first and a law firm second

This month’s Legal Futures Regulation and Compliance Conference brought together experts from a range of disciplines to discuss the ever-growing challenges for lawyers around regulation and compliance, the ways in which the profession is regulated, to the new SRA handbook. LexisNexis’ Market Development Director, Jon Whittle, discussed the myriad of challenges law firms are facing from the SRAs new rulebook and the risks associated with failing to respond to those challenges.

With the new rulebook creating flexibility for freelance solicitors and for non-regulated businesses to employ solicitors for the first time, Jon highlighted the weak points where the legal industry may be exposed to risk. He also picked out and contrasted the difference in attitude and approach between the potential new entrants and the current mindset of most law firms. In particular, Jon noted the likely approach of corporates who will be interested in embedding specific and relevant legal services into their total proposition rather than competing directly with Law Firms across a broad spectrum of legal services.

Discussing the findings of recent LexisNexis research, Jon revealed that, when asked, the majority of law firms knew little or nothing about the forthcoming changes to the SRA handbook. Perhaps more worrying, there is also little excitement around the new rules, with 40% of firms deciding they were not going to make any change to their business in response.

The main issue with the above response, Jon noted, is that the game is changing. The majority of law firms are small and medium sized enterprises, predominantly owned and managed by solicitors. The firms have been built solely to provide legal services. By and large, the only competition of any significance has been other law firms but, those certainties are about to change. With corporates able to provide legal services with

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About the author:

Hannah is one of the Future of Law blog’s digital and technical editors. She graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in History and Politics and previously freelanced for News UK, before working as a senior news editor for LexisNexis.