Law Firm Survey 2017

The challenge of adopting and assessing new technology has risen up the boardroom agenda to join investment in talent, differentiation and strategic hires, according to leaders of the UK’s law firms.

This year’s Law Firm Survey shows how the need for investment is competing with concerns about the longer term outlook, Brexit and fee pressure. However, short term confidence remains undented.

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Confidence or caution – which will win out?

Key findings of our latest Law Firm Survey




Law firms are acutely aware of the need to invest in talent and technology to gain competitive edge, according to this year’s survey.

Technology-related challenges come in many guises, from merely playing catch up, to the automation of time-consuming manual processes and preventing the significant financial and reputational risk of cyber crime.

Developing and retaining partners with excellent client relationships and precious expertise is a long term priority for firms. Building specialist teams and standing out to candidates in a crowded industry are common talent-related issues.

UK economic forecasts are lowering and there is an increasingly competitive marketplace. Against this backdrop, the question of prioritisation and access to funding must be addressed, particularly for thinly capitalised firms.

There have been some positive headline financial results in the sector of late, but our analysis of underlying productivity and profit margins may be a warning sign: Are lawyers now having to work harder for the same return?

Firms must decide whether, and how, they can afford to lead the pack and enhance their position and productivity. The survey identified a feeling of caution however, and many may adopt a 'wait and see' approach, to ensure return on investment can be assured.


Download the full findings 


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Giles Murphy

Head of Professional Practices, Head of Business Interests London +44 (0)20 7131 4369

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