Client demands as challenging as regulation say lawyers

by Steve Randall16 May 2016
Client demands as challenging as regulation say lawyers
Independent lawyers and midsize law firms are preparing for a challenging future. The latest Bellweather Report from LexisNexis shows that, despite a rise in confidence, 95 per cent of respondents are expecting ‘rough times’ ahead.
The survey of lawyers and firms in the UK found that 85 per cent say that clients’ demands are having as much impact as regulation; although just 40 per cent of firms have hired staff in non-legal roles to meet those demands.
On pricing, the report reveals that it is not all about low fees. Clients want value rather than a cut-price service.
Professor Stephen Mayson, independent advisor and non-executive director to law firms, said: “The report provides evidence of ‘the grand delusion’ – essentially, a culture that is out of tune with the market and a broken business model. Tinkering around the edges of the cost base and blaming others for the rest, rather than tackling some possibly uncomfortable home truths, will not address it and secure a sound future.”
Mayson says there is hope though, if firms think “outside the legal box” and focus on client value and delivery including the use of appropriate technology.
Former government official appointed at NRF
Norton Rose Fulbright has appointed the former Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Attorney-General’s Department, Roger Wilkins AO, as Senior Advisor.
As part of the firm’s global risk advisory practice, Wilkins will bring a breadth of experience in governmental and regulatory roles; he was also at Citigroup where he headed the government and public sector group for Australia and New Zealand.
Gadens head hired by Nabarro
The former managing partner of Singapore firm Gadens has joined Nabarro’s projects practice in the city state. Marc Rathbone founded Gadens Singapore in 2013 having joined from Clifford Chance. 
Clifford Chance adds to litigation practice in Sydney
Angela Pearsall is joining Clifford Chance in Australia to bolster the litigation practice in Sydney. When she joins from Ashurst in July, she will become the 16th partner for Clifford Chance in Australia.