The legal market is going through significant and lasting change on a global basis. This change is being driven by three simultaneous forces:

1 The COMMODITISATION of legal services

Clients who are demanding lower fees and real value. This effect is exacerbated by the onset of technology which has allowed ONLINE LAW to become a reality. The UK legal market is an example of where this re-engineering is happening. The UK has followed The US and Australia in this respect – two markets that have already become commoditised. Commoditisation will become a global trend.

2 Increased AGILITY

In part a response to client pressure on fees, professional firms, banks and in-house legal teams are focusing on agile client solutions. Also lawyers at all levels and all backgrounds are increasingly likely to make a lifestyle choice and many therefore wish to work flexibly. This has raised the requirement for greater innovation in working practices and, hand-in- hand with a response to the onset of commoditization, law firms and in-house legal teams have started to look differently at how their firms, departments and teams can be structured. Enlightened resourcing companies who understand this demand are able to provide innovative staffing solutions to their clients – working hand-in- hand on a long term basis to create higher profitability from the reworked professional firm model.

3 The rise of RAPID GROWTH MARKETS.

There are a number of markets that are growing quickly and – in all cases – law firms, other professional firms, banks and large international companies have moved in to exploit the growth and profit those markets can yield. As an example, the Global Elite law firms occupy a geographical spread that is designed to take advantage of higher yield, higher growth markets and capital markets – from South America, through the UK, EMEA and Australasia. The recent, post-Brexit UK economy has triggered a new focus for smaller and boutique UK law and accounting firms who sense an opportunity further afield. Thus it is necessary for legal teams to be capable of establishing a foothold in new markets with targeted ‘RAINMAKER’ hires. A well-targeted lateral hiring strategy can also attract the key client relationships that are necessary to gain traction in the newly-staked global territories. Pioneering legal firms and departments also need to build a team around the key people and in many cases the whole process can be streamlined by bringing in a flexible, bespoke solution to allow them to grow whilst managing people costs effectively.

In order to discuss the global trends in this piece, please contact Simon Chadwick Chief Executive, Espero Consulting on +44 845 241 2127, Mobile: +44 7985 198 578 or simon.chadwick@esperoconsulting.com.