Change in the legal landscape….

November 10, 2017

The business world is changing fast and legal services are not immune to this change.

The out-of-date model where a client has one law firm who they retain for all legal services and can charge by the hour is now a thing of the past.  There is endless competition in the legal market place and corporate clients are undoubtedly savvy and demand much more for their pound with a continued drive towards fixed fees, greater pricing transparency and a need for lawyers to know the businesses they are working with inside out.  It’s fair to say that tomorrow’s law firms are going to look very different to those around today.

 

Law firms are businesses, just like any other, and need to react to this change like everyone else.

 

Investing heavily in IT will be a key driver to ensure that business can be carried out anywhere and that systems are streamlined to breed efficiency in service delivery rather than the traditional ‘it will take as long as it takes’ approach.

A lot has been said about the structure of law firms being archaic; historically designed as ‘lifestyle businesses’ where profits were stripped out every year, bumbling along taking any and all work they could get their hands on.  Firms nowadays need to take control and have a clear strategy for the direction of the business, including the type of work and clients they actually want.  Are they targeting particular sectors or types of businesses?  What can they offer those businesses that no-one else can?  Lawyers need to understand their clients’ needs, acting more like in-house lawyers with a focus on telling them how it is and giving honest opinions about what they would do in their shoes.

 

Change is hard and there is no magic wand.

 

Firms do need to continue to challenge the way things have always been done and above all, listen to their clients and invest in the right personalities that have the firm’s values at heart.

Beyond Corporate (part of Beyond Professional Services Group) is a new Manchester law firm striving to do things differently and have a largely entrepreneurial client base.  If you’d like to speak with them, please call Nina Latham on 0161 507 7134 or email nina.latham@beyondcorporate.co.uk.