A ‘virtual’ chambers that supports direct access work has set up an alternative business structure, as has a niche financial services chambers, which become the second and third to be regulated by the Bar Standards Board. It licensed its first ABS, a collaboration between a London chambers and football agents, earlier this month.
Widespread change” is yet to happen at the Bar, with only a small minority of barristers planning to change the way they work or charge fees, a report for the Bar Standards Board has found. Despite the presence of “strong drivers for change”, the report said this did “not necessarily equate to a need or desire for a new approach”.
In-house lawyers have ranked responsiveness and understanding of their businesses above price as the qualities they most look for when choosing external law firms. One legal counsel at an investment fund said he was “shocked at the poor service we sometimes get” and “often dumbfounded by the poor level of responsiveness”.
A web-based service which uses artificial intelligence (AI) rather than lawyers to give business clients crucial information about their contracts – and already works with Deliveroo – has secured a second round of funding from high-profile investors.
There is a big gap in the way partners and fee-earners at medium-sized law firms view where they work, including “an exaggerated sense of progressiveness among decision-makers”, a new report has found. Partners were far more confident than fee-earners that their firm had a “clear strategy for the future”.
Barristers who outsource work must not “ask for or accept” any payment from third parties, the Bar Council has warned. However, third parties can “for commercial reasons” offer services to barristers at lower than normal rates, so long as the “entire benefit” is passed to lay clients.
Commercial law firms have a limited “window of opportunity” to adopt new delivery models which is unlikely to “remain open forever”, a report has warned. Jomati Consultants also revealed that four City firms are on course to receive almost £8m in government grants as a result of opening low cost centres.
More than three quarters of general counsel lack separate budgets for process and technology services, despite exactly the same percentage identifying a “compelling need” for them, a survey has found. “To have a compelling need, but have no budgetary control is potentially ‘creek, canoe, no paddle’ territory”, it said.
The legal profession of the future is going to be younger, Neville Eisenberg, managing partner of City law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), told the Global Law Summit in London today.
An entrepreneur has revealed plans to combine a claims management company, a consumer website and the clinical negligence department of a top 100 firm to form a market-dominating alternative business structure.
Barrister entrepreneur William Rees has launched an online drafting service aimed at mainly at solicitors in small firms. The business provides “customised templates”, which aim to be more tailored to lawyers’ requirements and individual cases than traditional precedents.
Specialist knowledge and expertise are more important than price or consistency of delivery for law firms choosing an IT supplier, research has found.
City law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner has launched Streamline, a “process improvement service” designed to cope with the legal challenges of big construction projects and complex or high-volume commercial litigation.
The solicitor in charge of a network of 136 West Midlands firms has said it aims to lead the way in support for small law firms, while remaining outside any national group. Hub.Legal is operated by FBC Manby Bowdler, formerly a hub in Pannone’s Connect2Law network.
Global demand for non-traditional legal services, such as contract lawyers and document-review services, will rise sharply over the next five years, research for Allen & Overy has found.
In the absence of full-scale office-based working, law firms and corporate legal departments will need to find new ways of ensuring collaboration and knowledge sharing among their legal professionals.
What the pandemic has brought into sharp focus for firms is a desire to reduce costs. In 2019, research found cost reductions were last on a long list of priorities for firms; now they are near the top.