Kate Arnott at MHA breaks down some important topics to keep an eye on as 2020 rolls around

What does the future have in store for SME law firms? A changing marketplace driven by globalisation, technological innovation and automation, as well as a more flexible workforce that demands a better worklife balance, are all shifting law firms away from traditional business models.

We’re also seeing niche practices entering the market, alongside changes in the way clients buy services, moving away from paying fees on an hourly basis in favour of fixed fees or other, more cost-effective solutions.

All of these developments are overshadowed by the continued uncertainty over Brexit and the current political climate. We’re finding that increased international work and the opening of offices overseas are currently huge drivers of growth and profitability of many law firms, with both large and smaller firms seeking to capitalise on a globalised economy. Most firms have a cautious outlook for the next 12 months, but this is a prime time to ensure your firm is as future-proofed as possible.

Technology is key. In order to survive, it’s vital that law firms invest in technology. Clients now take it as given that their law firm will have access to the latest technology to increase efficiencies and reduce costs for the end user. With new rules governing the industry from November, technology needs to ensure full compliance and provide the flexibility to adapt in future. Law firms should be considering which technology is right to invest in and also giving consideration as to the best way to fund this. 

This article was first published in LPM's December/January issue 'A tale of 2020', click here to read the full article.

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