find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Junior Property Lawyer, Sydney
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Well established law firm that values its people
View details
BigLaw and NewLaw divide beginning to close

BigLaw and NewLaw divide beginning to close

Divide

As the market grows increasingly competitive, a new report has shed light on how BigLaw and NewLaw firms are responding to “a period of radical change”.

According to a new white paper released by LegalVision, 'Transforming the Legal Landscape: The NewLaw Philosophy', there are distinct traits that separate NewLaw and BigLaw firms.

Some of the main characteristics that distinguish NewLaw providers from their BigLaw counterparts include commitment to using technology to address legal issues, virtual or dispersed workplaces and flexible work arrangements for employees, according to the report.

Other examples highlighted were alternative billing arrangements and “flatter” working structures, whereby firms operate without partners.

In contrast to those characteristics, BigLaw providers are built on the partnership model, where partners are generally promoted from within and share in the equity of the firm, the report said.

The report noted that other characteristics that generally make up BigLaw firms include a group of young lawyers who are recruited out of university, time-based billing and high hourly rates.

However, despite the differences, the white paper found that the gap between BigLaw and NewLaw firms is starting to close, as BigLaw firms look to tap into more opportunities and evolve with the changing legal landscape.

“The concept of NewLaw is undoubtedly apt to describe the business models of many new players in the legal market. However, the differences between the NewLaw and BigLaw models is one of emphasis. Fixed fees, capped fees and ‘no win, no fee’ billing are all loosening the strangle-hold of hourly rates billed in six-minute increments,” said James Gonczi, a LegalVision lawyer and the author of the report.

“Many firms now have non-equity partners. Flexible work arrangements are available at a growing number of firms and almost all players in the legal industry have been increasing their spending on technology.

“Traditional firms are, in an ad hoc way, doing many of the things which are said to set NewLaw providers apart.”

Mr Gonczi suggested that the shake-up of traditional BigLaw firms is due to more NewLaw firms making their way into the legal profession.

“The proliferation of businesses with a NewLaw philosophy means that people have more choice than ever before about who they can use for their legal needs.

“These increased options can only benefit clients, as it forces service providers to do better if they want to compete,” said Mr Gonczi.

“Some traditional law firms may find the increased competition threatening, but we expect that many will seek to adapt to meet changing client expectations. There will also be opportunities for partnership and collaboration – for instance, Gilbert + Tobin is one of our major investors.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

BigLaw and NewLaw divide beginning to close
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
Applauds
Aug 21 2017
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
Mentoring
Aug 21 2017
Top-tier offers targeted mentoring for Indigenous law students
Students at Macquarie University will be the first to benefit from a new Indigenous mentoring progra...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...