Too many lawyers as demand slips says report

by Steve Randall19 May 2016
Too many lawyers as demand slips says report
Half of the equity partners and over 60 per cent of non-equity partners are not sufficiently busy according to a survey of US law firms. The Altman Weil research shows that demand for legal services in the world’s largest economy is waning.

Sixty percent of law firms have not seen demand for legal services return to pre-recession levels and a similar number believe this lower demand will be an ongoing trend. The survey also found a growing trend of clients insourcing work.

“This is a leadership moment,” according to Altman Weil principal and survey co-author Tom Clay. “When the market is moving forward and your partners are unwilling to move with it, it’s not enough to be a caretaker or consensus builder. Law firm leaders have a responsibility to vigorously pursue opportunities that enable them to outpace and outcompete other firms.”

Although many law firms identified the issues facing their business, many are reluctant to make the changes necessary to mitigate the decline. For example, 95 per cent of law firm leaders believe that price competition is a long-term trend for the legal profession but only a third are changing their pricing strategy.

A similar percentage of leaders acknowledge inefficiencies in their firms but just 43 per cent have made significant changes to boost efficiency.
Law firm warns of regulatory burden for Asia-Pac financial services
The financial services sector in Asia Pacific is facing increased regulatory burden according to a new guide from Herbert Smith Freehills. The region’s regulators will be adding to addition requirements already imposed by the UK, Europe and US.

HSF Hong Kong partner Will Hallatt says that Asia Pacific regulators are ramping up both legislation and enforcement actions. He noted that companies are challenged by finding and retaining the right level of staff to handle the increasing complex compliance minefield.
NRF appoints Australian Partnership chair
Tricia Hobson has been named chair of the Australian Partnership Council at Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the head of the firm’s insurance practice in Asia Pacific, a role she has held since 2013.

Hobson’s term as chair will be for 3 years from 1st July 2016 and she will succeed Adrian Ahern who has been chair of the Australian Partnership Council for 4 years and also spent a year as global chair.