find the latest legal job
Inhouse Legal Counsel -18 months-4 PAE - Real Estate Investment Company
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· In brand new prestigious CBD offices
View details
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
Change is here and law firms must shape up

Change is here and law firms must shape up

A UK report has warned law firms to shape up or lose out - as globalisation and the rising power of in-house lawyers pose a threat to their survival.The report, Law firm of the 21st century -…

A UK report has warned law firms to shape up or lose out - as globalisation and the rising power of in-house lawyers pose a threat to their survival.

The report, Law firm of the 21st century - The clients' revolution, commissioned by international law firm Eversheds, warned that law firms need to change and modernise to avoid losing out in the future - particularly as the big work moves East, and in-house lawyers gain more status and power.

According to the report - based on the opinions of 130 general counsel and 80 law firm partners worldwide - professionalism of the in-house lawyer has increased during the UK recession, with three-quarters of general counsel saying they now occupy a far more senior commercial advisory role in their companies compared to before the recession.

Aside from the recession, the report showed that globalisation is considered the primary factor contributing to change, with many international law firm leaders, as with other business sectors, considering moving their headquarters from the west to the east.

The report also illustrated that the recession has had a major impact on how Magic Circle firms are viewed, with 51 per cent of clients and 46 per cent of partners citing the term as defunct. Ninety-four per cent of clients and 81 per cent of partners agreed that a revision of the traditional law firm hierarchy would be a welcome development for the market.

Bryan Hughes, chief executive at Eversheds noted the change in findings since they first conducted the report two years ago.

"When we conducted our first report into the legal sector - The 21st Century Law Firm - two years ago, we found that many law firm partners were resistant to change, despite their clients asking for it," he said.

"As well as globalisation and the increased use of technology to delivery efficiency, the key change is the shift in power to the client, which is largely due to in-house counsel taking a more important commercial role within their companies.

"This will prove to be a real shake down for the legal sector and its workings and law firms will need to really prove their worth as in house teams expand their expertise," Hughes said.

The demise of the hourly rate was also focused on and the need for alternative billing structures. The report revealed that while many law firm partners are adapting to change in this respect, many are still not delivering what their clients want.

"Law firms need to demonstrate where they can add real value to a client's in house team...the change that was predicted to take place over the next 10 years is here now, and it will be those firms who respond to the trends indentified in the report who will see the real benefits," Hughes said.

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

Change is here and law firms must shape up
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Animal law moots, advocacy, Melbourne University, Australia and New Zealand Intervarsity Moot on Animal Law
Sep 25 2017
Moot unleashes animal advocacy
Melbourne has played host to one of the largest animal law moots, with student participants put th...
Scales
Sep 25 2017
Transgender teens should not need legal approval for hormone treatment, court hears
A transgender 17-year-old known as Kelvin has appealed in the Family Court against the requirement o...
Appointed, Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
Sep 25 2017
NFP CEO appointed Victorian Legal Services Commissioner
The CEO of a Victorian not-for profit pro bono legal services provider has been named as the state...
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 & ...