Crystal ball gazing

There is just the slightest hint of smugness in Jonathan West’s letter, Commodity fetish in this week’s Law Society Gazette,

I note the recent sad administrations of Hammonds Support Services and Fox Hayes (see [2009] Gazette, 29 January, 1).

They were probably two of the biggest examples of firms who followed Professor Richard Susskind’s regular entreaties to the legal profession to ‘commoditise’ legal work. Will we now see Professor Susskind eat a large slice of humble pie, presumably at the creditors’ meetings of those defunct practices?

I don’t want to disillusion Mr West but commoditisation is here to stay. Law firms have not moved this way because of Richard Susskind, but because this is what our consumers want. Inevitably there are going to be casualties, especially among early adopters: but those casualties do not mean that Susskind is wrong.

As Rob Millard wrote in his latest post in Adventure of Strategy,

I’m reading it [“The End of Lawyers – Rethinking the nature of legal services“] at the moment and will review it for you when I’m done. At first glance, though : absolutely essential reading for anybody either leading a law firm or, in 90%+ of cases, practicing law in the 21st Century.

One thought on “Crystal ball gazing

  1. The problem with both HammondsDirect & Fox Hayes was that they didn’t balance the work – they had huge remortgage / conveyancing practices but nothing to provide a balance. The failure is simply down to “too many eggs in one basket”

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