Despite a challenging year, the recent PwC Annual Law Firm Survey presents evidence of continued stability for the UK legal sector. “The legal sector remains a real success story for the UK….whilst firms have, on average not reported significant growth in either profits or revenue this year, there are many successful law firms with the resources to meet future uncertainties.”
PwC’s 2016 Annual Law Firm Survey has revealed that:
- 75% of UK firms have increased their fee income this year (82% in 2015).
- Technology and processes have again been identified as the number one priority for firms in the coming year, suggesting firms are still focused on ‘fixing the basics’.
- ‘Client Experience’ and ‘Operational Efficiencies’ were identified as the main drivers for embracing digital technologies.
- Firms have been slow to adapt to recent data analytics tools and appear to be responding by planning IT projects and prioritising improvements in data analytics and reporting.
- Information security continues to be a significant risk with 73% of firms reporting they had suffered from a security incident. The most common incidents related to phishing attacks and malware.
So, amid intense competition and an uncertain future how can firms ensure their success in 2017?
Martin MacDuff, managing director of Redbrick Solutions, agrees that using technology to drive operational efficiency and deliver a better client experience is essential.
He comments “We meet law firms of all shapes and sizes and find that there is a real divide. Many are using significantly out of date technology that is having a negative impact on their profitability yet they place very little importance on their IT systems.”
“On the other hand, we have clients who have increased their instruction levels by 110% over the last couple of years and have only increased their headcount by a fraction of that because they have streamlined their processes, automated as much as possible and are making business decisions based on financial and industry insights they were unable to access previously.”
Martin concludes, “having powerful business information easily available has made a world of difference to the way firms are viewing their business. They can now easily understand costs, profit and productivity across either the whole business or targeted areas and are using that information to drive steady growth and secure their future success.”
Making good use of technology is going to be key in 2017, with 95% of firms agreeing that technology is their number one priority, so if you haven’t yet seen Redbrick Solutions now is the time to act.