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16 May 2017 at 09:31 BST

Independent bespoke law firms stealing business from larger competitors

Independent law firms are stealing a larger share of the market by offering their clients a more bespoke service, a LexisNexis report has revealed.

Jakub Jirsak

The Bellwether Report 2017, Art of Success points out that traditional law firms will lose out to small specialists providing quality over quantity with 87 per cent of independent law firms saying they’re either stable or growing - higher than any year since the Bellwether report began in 2013.

'Disenchanted'

‘Disenchanted by the way that larger law firms operate, successful independent lawyers are determined to learn from their past experiences and create a healthier working culture in their own firms for staff and clients alike,’ commented Jon Whittle, Market Development Director at LexisNexis UK. ‘Their firms’ ethos, driven by things like bespoke service, good staff morale, fairer pay, realistic targets and common business goals, is delivering both commercial success and job satisfaction..’

'quality over quantity'

The report from the leading provider of content and technology solutions showed that a ‘quality over quantity’ attitude underpinned by bespoke client service is key to the success of independent law firms. It further found that most independent law firms see success as a trinity of three elements - the quality of their expertise, solid commercial logic and commitment to a happy working environment.

Bespoke service key driver of success

Some 65 per cent of those interviewed cited being bespoke as the key driver to their success, and it appears that this difference in focus will have a material impact on the market. Predicting the next three to five years, 69 per cent of independent firms expect an increase in smaller, specialist suppliers providing quality versus quantity with 65 per cent believing that specialist firms will start to steal business away from the traditional high-street firms that can’t compete with these levels of bespoke service.

Differing priorities

Unsurprisingly then, the top priorities and success criteria for specialist and smaller firms are slightly different to those offering a more generalist service in the independent sector with 27 per cent of specialists placing a greater emphasis on being well informed about their client’s business versus 19 per cent of all those interviewed. They are also more concerned about the quality of their legal expertise with 70 per cent citing this as a contributing factor to success versus 57 per cent across the whole sample.

 
   
 
 
 

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