US legal services market becomes more segmented

May 7, 2012 The most expensive US lawyers are becoming even more costly, while the cheapest are barely keeping up with inflation, according to this story published in the Wall Street Journal.

A new report from legal software company TyMetrix shows a 5.1 per cent rate increase across the legal industry, including all partners and associates. This represents the largest average rate increase since 2008, before the global financial crisis. Before the downturn, law firm profits grew by about 8 per cent a year, but those profits suffered after the crash.

And now it seems that the market is becoming more segmented, with top lawyers and leading law firms still able to attract large client dollars for complex commercial work, while firms that handle more routine work deal with shrinking margins as clients demand better value for money.

Read more at blogs.wsj.com.

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