How today's independent law firms are stealing a larger share of the market by putting quality before quantity. What is driving their success – and why are they confident about their future?

Since 2013, our annual Bellwether Reports have been a voice for small and independent law firms who are embracing new ways of working, challenging old ways of thinking and redefining what law firms can do. Given the ever-increasing speed of change and the variety of business models, we’ve decided to expand this year’s research and divide it into three reports, spread across the course of the year.

Our research reveals a new generation of enlightened decision makers, who’ve deliberately walked away from life in the top tier to create a new kind of firm, with a focus on quality over quantity. Rather than chasing growth for growth’s sake, they’re focusing on delivering outstanding legal services and creating a better working culture and environment for their people: firms where happy, productive, staff deliver a more personal, more ‘human’ level of service.

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The Art of Success

Report 1 is based on 10 qualitative interviews and quantitative research with 128 lawyers in independent law firms in 2017, focused on the theme of success.

The report covers:

  • What makes an independent law firm 'successful'?
  • What makes a lawyer 'successful'?
  • How does life at the smaller end of the spectrum compare to life in the top tier?
  • And how have past experiences shaped their ethos today?