30 May 2013

Law firms identify need for modernisation

Law firms are beginning to recognise the need to innovate in response to the Legal Services Act, with a quarter of law firms expecting to modify their business strategy, a report released today suggests.

By James Barnes

modernisation: law firms wise up

The report and survey, released by UK accountancy and business network Baker Tilly, found a major increase over the last three years in the number of firms that expect to change their strategy – up to 25 per cent in 2013 from 9 per cent in 2010.

Changing landscape

The survey also found that law firms are less likely to believe the Legal Services Act will have a positive effect on their business, with 21 per cent saying they expected the legislation to have a positive impact in 2010, compared to a 14 per cent in 2013.
The report - ‘Legal Innovation 2013’ - reviews the changing landscape for the legal services sector, studying how businesses have changed their structure, funding, service delivery, management and people, in both the UK and on an international level. It also examines how the landscape will change within the legal market in response to recent changes in the sector.

Real change

George Bull, chair of Baker Tilly’s professional practices group, commented: ‘This report demonstrates that real change is now being driven in UK legal businesses, both by shifts in the general market climate and the significant regulatory shakeups of recent years.
‘In some quarters a degree of innovation has been unleashed which is unprecedented. It is also interesting that in many cases, law firms that previously held the view that reforms would have little impact on their business are coming around to the view that they will have to adjust their business model. The realisation that change will be necessary appears to be steadily growing.’

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