WHILE top tier firms and small firms have endured tough times in the last 12 months, mid tier firms claim the last 12 months have offered them new opportunities.
“A long standing, well managed, secure mid tier firm, I think is increasingly being regarded as a good place to be,” said Bartier Perry CEO, Luke Stevens.
“There are a number of sectors in the legal market which are a bit troublesome; the top tier is finding it a bit tough, and small firms have found it tough in terms of global financial crisis.”
Bartier Perry is one of several mid tier firms to have not only increased the size of the practice but also the scope of projects on which they work.
Stevens said the firm has this year appointed more than five senior staff including Norton White partner, David Richardson, and Norton White associate, Julie Talakovski, who joined the financial services group, along with Marcus Connor, from Chang Pistilli and Simmons, who joined the corporate commercial team.
“We are well place to have people come and see this is a good practice,” said Stevens.
The corporate commercial area has been a source of strength for the firm in last 12 months, “which sounds contrary to what we are going through with the GFC".
“We have found that there is a lot corporate commercial work happening in middle market space and one of the obvious outcomes of the downturn is that purchases of legal services have become far more discerning about their legal dollar spend. Firms like us, mid tier firms which can price in an attractive affective way, have been able to move up stream in terms of the work they are capturing.”
It is because of this competitive pricing that the firm has secured work on projects that they may not have once done, according to Stevens, who also claims that the market has allowed them to push forward into new areas.
“We will certainly use the work experiences of the last 12 to 18 months as a stepping stone to push into higher end deals, that’s just a natural coincidence of getting runs on the board and having demonstrated proven skills, but also, I think that the buyers of legal services are going to be far more discerning on where they spend their money in the future.
“I think mid-tier firms across the board have a greater opportunity to grab a greater market share.”