A pioneering alternative business structure (ABS) has become one of the first legal practices to introduce employee ownership, while also developing a new form of billing that will see it agree a profit margin with clients, Legal Futures can reveal.
Alternative business structures may well herald the demise of hourly billing as legal practice becomes even more competitive, the Master of the Rolls has predicted. Contingency fees and price comparision websites will also play a role.
Merger and acquisition activity is becoming a far greater strategic priority among the largest law firms, new research has shown – although most still remain wary of alternative business structures. It also highlighted how top firms are being forced to offer fixed fees.
Law firms that fail to embrace “legal process management” will quickly lose out to new competitors, such as accounting firms, legal publishers and businesses fuelled by external investment, Professor Richard Susskind has warned. The legal IT and strategy guru has also criticised the approach of many large firms to making cuts during the recession.