Eversheds report predicts drastic changes to the legal services industry
Eversheds has released a report entitled 'Law Firm of the 21st Century: the Clients’ Revolution', which tries to anticipate the medium to long term effects of four key factors: the UK Legal Services Act, globalisation, technology and the increasing power of in-house general counsel.
The report suggests that the global financial crisis has given clients greater power in the legal services market. This shift will ultimately result in a decline in fees, and the hourly fee rate will become just one billing mechanism among many. Firms will increasingly focus upon efficiency – via outsourcing, use of technology and the unbundling of legal services – as competition grows.
Eversheds also suggests that in house counsel will gain a higher status within their companies and will exercise much greater influence, as senior executives realise just how important legal issues are to the successful management of businesses.
The report also suggests that the pecking order and classifications that elevate ‘magic circle’ firms are outdated.
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