2012 will be a year of change for legal sector


With very sluggish growth predicted, it’s going to be a tough year for all businesses and this in itself will continue to impact the legal sector as companies look to reduce legal costs and demand for certain legal services falls.


2012 will be the year we start to see the impact of non-lawyer owned legal providers that have been allowed under rules on alternative business structures.


Those law firms that have adapted, by launching new products and services, or by restructuring existing service lines, will be the ones that are best placed to deal with the increased competition.


I believe those firms that have done nothing, particular those that are highly dependent on consumer legal services, could be in for a very tough year and may see profit margins eroded away.


A robust risk management exercise should be the immediate priority for firms worried about the increased competition being introduced as a result of the Legal Services Act.


However, this should not be viewed as a one off assignment. It should be a constantly evolving process, led by a senior person within the business, which perpetually informs your long-term strategy.