A bleak future

Following on from Jordan Furlong’s recent post in Law 21 (which I commented on some days ago), a snippet from Legal Risk LLP’s March Newsletter*, after a law firm risk management conference in Chicago,

The future shape of law firms 

The traditional leveraged model of law firms with large numbers of associates was under attack from clients’ general counsel, one commenting that partner: associate ratios of 1:1 delivered better results than 2 or 3:1 – “the shape of the successful law firm is not a pyramid”. We know UK firms with corporate practices are increasingly under pressure to service in-house legal teams with specialist advice rather than do whole transactions – as one risk management partner put it succinctly, firms are being asked to take 10 per cent of the fees and 90 per cent of the risk.

This has been my recent experience in the UK, so what is happening that side of the Atlantic is already reflected over here.

* Legal Risk LLP’s website is http://www.legalrisk.co.uk/ . There is no hypertext link to the March Newsletter, but it is well worth reading. I rate Frank Maher really highly and he always talks sense.

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