find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Finance lawyers say no to discounted fees

Finance lawyers say no to discounted fees

Banking & finance practices have said they won’t discount their rates regardless of competitive pressures.

Mark Skinner (pictured), head of the banking & finance division at Gadens Lawyers, told Lawyers Weekly that consolidation in the financial services sector has increased competition in the market and forced many firms to up their game to retain clients.

“There are fewer players ... [which] has placed increased pressure on us all competing against our fellow lawyers,” he said, adding that the slowdown of the foreign banks has also intensified competition between firms.

Gadens will not, however, respond to these pressures by discounting its rates, said Skinner. But the firm has agreed to accept the rates set by the major banks, which, he admitted, are “below our A rate”.

AdventBalance is another firm that won’t be making changes to its fees, which take the form of a fixed daily rate.

John Knox, managing director – Asia, told Lawyers Weekly that the firm has not been noticeably impacted by the string of mergers in the sector in recent years.

He admitted, however, that many of the local retail banks and global investment banks that the firm acts for remain cost sensitive.

“A lot of them have headcount freezes and the thought of outsourcing all of that work to traditional law firms on expensive hourly rates is not attractive.”

Knox claimed the firm’s fixed-fee pricing model and flexible contractual arrangements speak to cost-conscious financial institutions.

“That’s what the industry is really after at the moment,” he said.

Firms may be divided on how consolidation is affecting firms right now, but there may be a change of opinion following the federal election, with shadow treasurer Joe Hockey saying in April that he would order an inquiry into the ‘four pillars’ banking regime if the Coalition takes power.

The regime aims to support competition by preventing mergers between the Big Four, but it does not stop these banks from buying smaller competitors.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently approved the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s acquisition of 67 per cent of Aussie Home Loans; Westpac merged with St George in 2008, and NAB acquired Aviva Australia’s wealth management business in 2009.

A number of other financial institutions have also merged in recent years, including AMP and AXA Pacific Holdings in 2011.

For the full story, see Lawyers Weekly 624, coming out on 12 July.

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

Finance lawyers say no to discounted fees
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Diversity
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Jetski
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
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 & ...