find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Law firms to face new threat from mega firm

Law firms to face new threat from mega firm

One mega firm to rule them all, and one major mid tier firm that will really be able to compete with the top tier, are very real threats to other firms in the Australian legal services industry.

ONE mega firm to rule them all, and one major mid tier firm that will really be able to compete with the top tier, are very real threats to other firms in the Australian legal services industry. 


"Crystal ball gazing" about the future of the Australian legal market, widely-respected law firm consultant George Beaton of Beaton Consulting, has told The New Lawyer that we are approaching a period of massive restructure. 


'In the top 8, 9 or 10 firms we will see two things," Beaton said. "First, the globalisation trend, and we saw that with DLA Phillips Fox and Norton Rose and Deacons. We will see two or three more alliances in two or three years, of other firms."


Beaton also predicts that weaker firms in that top 10 are at risk and are likely to be merged into the stronger firms. The fallout will see the rise of one mega firm, much larger than any law firm seen previously in Australia. 


"Currently the largest firms in this country are $500 million in round dollars. One of those firms will merge a smaller firm, of $300 or $400 million, into it. 


"There will be some fallout from that. There will be client conflict, there will be partners who say they don't want to go. But the new mega firm will be around $800 million. So now you'll have a true giant, like what we have seen in the accounting industry in this country," Beaton said. 


Pressed as to whether the mega firm will be akin to a six-cylinder engine driving in a four-cylinder market, Beaton said "no firm has a single stage in its strategy".


He said: "There is a double digit growth market to the north and anybody who wants to take on that market needs huge resources, superb leadership and deep pockets."


Beaton made similar predictions about the rise of a mega firm at the Law Council of Australia's Australian Legal Convention, held last week. 


But in an interview with The New Lawyer, Beaton also warned of a rise of a massive mid-tier firm.  


Despite some law firms' marketing claims to the contrary, while there has been some mid tier prospering in an environment of changed corporate client buying behaviours,  "we don't yet have a true challenger to the top tier coming out of the middle tier", said Beaton.


But, he says, there will be a challenger to the top tier. "We will see one, two or even three in the next couple of years. We will get an east coast, very strong and truly integrated, superior quality middle tier firm. There are a number of contenders for that. Middletons is one, Maddocks is another. They have the potential, and there are others, but there is nobody close to this goal yet." Corrs Chambers Westgarth, he said, is in the top 7, 8 or 9 already.





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

Law firms to face new threat from mega firm
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
06:04
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
The Law Council of Australia says the establishment of a panel which will examine the human right to...
Law Society launched a new website, legal politics and lawmaking
06:00
Law Society launches project to engage young Aussies
The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website to engage young Australians in legal politics and ...
recognised for human rights work
06:00
LexisNexis executive recognised for human rights work
A LexisNexis executive has been announced as a finalist in a global awards program for women in busi...
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 & ...