Legal profession expects growth in the next two years but other challenges are on the horizon

Legal profession expects growth in the next two years but other challenges are on the horizon

According to a recent report commissioned by LexisNexis, and undertaken by Jures, the legal profession is confident that the sector will grow in the next two years. 66% of respondent firms that took part in the survey believe that there will be a 10% increase in profits year-on-year. The report also identified other challenges that the sector needs to overcome.

Law firms identified competition from new entrants, specifically from those under the Alternative Business Structure (ABS) model, as the greatest threat they face. To ensure success they see recruiting ‘lateral hires’ as a key. They believe that delegating work to associates and trainees is the most effective strategy in response to increasing pressure on profits.

Nick West, LexisNexis director of legal markets, commented on the report: “The level of confidence in future growth is surprising given the current market landscape. But it appears that law firms are now more confident about the economic situation. They are looking to the future and wish to ensure they are ready for the changes that the Legal Services Act and client behaviour is bringing. This means having the right people in the firms to deal with new competitive entrants and set out a strategy to deal with change, ensuring associates and trainees are equipped with the best tools to provide legal information with confidence.”

Managing client relationships and dealing with client pressure on fees also featured as key challenges for firms.

Nick West added: “Clients are clearly more demanding than ever and firms are being forced to respond. They must make sure that they are working as efficiently and productively as possible. The lawyer who can access reliable information speedily, make good use of precedent documents and apply technology to time-consuming tasks, such as drafting, will be the lawyer who has the competitive edge.”

Download Pressure Points to find out more.

See what Neil Rose, Editor of Legal Futures, has to say about the report's findings here.

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