In an article today, The Law Gazette calls attention to a just-released report that suggests that for modern law firms, "creating links" with legal process outsourcing (LPO) companies is "essential to dampen the effects of unpredictable markets." The report, "New Frontiers: Law Firms in 2020," has been issued by London-based Jomati Consulants, an affiliate of Altman Weil Global set up by former Clifford Chance Managing Partner Tony Williams. Here are a few excerpts from the article:
Top commercial law firms must become more flexible and less reactive to cope with the boom-bust pattern of global markets over the next 10 years, a report by consultants Jomati has suggested.
Introducing variable rather than fixed costs, creating links with legal process outsourcers (LPOs), and setting up internal LPO-style businesses will be essential to dampen the effects of unpredictable markets, according to the report, New Frontiers: Law Firms in 2020.
The report said: ‘As the building up of global capability grows over the next 10 years, and the investment in people, IT, office space and support staff grows for transactional teams, so will the risk of a dangerous cost over-shoot. A bust for a one-office firm is bad enough; a bust for a firm with corporate associates in 20 offices is going to hurt significantly more.’
Meanwhile, competition from Chinese law firms, which are already hiring senior lawyers from major UK and US firms and are becoming increasingly skilled, could lead to fee competition across Asia, the report predicted.
Jomati principal Tony Williams, a former managing partner at magic circle firm Clifford Chance, said: "We often talk about global law firms as if they are finished products. The truth is, the development of global law firms is just beginning."