The future (year) of law: our 2016 predictions

The future (year) of law: our 2016 predictions

As 2016 approaches, we asked our Market Development Directors for their insight and predictions for the development and transformation of the legal market in the next 12 months.

We considered issues affecting the market from private practice firms with sole practitioners right the way up to the international players, including barristers, in-house and public sector and saw five main themes emerging.

Global growth/ mergers and a more connected world

In an increasing global market, the larger firms and in-house legal departments are grappling with the international nature of advice required and how to work within a virtual team across many jurisdictions.

We predict that in 2016 2 of the top 20 UK firms will merge with a US firm and 10% of the top 30 firms will enter new markets in Africa and Latin America.


Across the profession as a whole there will be increased pressure to reduce costs and provide transparency in pricing. An obvious efficiency solution is to use workflow and knowhow tools – investing in technology across the whole gamut of firm tasks.

We anticipate that firms will be deploying administrative staff and paralegals in the delivery aspect of routine legal work, allowing fewer qualified staff members to provide more complex legal advice.

Risk will be managed by using technology to manage this process including contract management and automation right the way through to learning and development tools. We predict that this will not be limited to private practice but will include local authority legal departments and in-house teams.

Alternative Business Structures

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