This spring we saw the UK legal market’s largest ever merger, with experts heralding the union of CMS UK, Nabarro and Olswang as indicative of a growing trend: law firms merging, cutting and making efficiencies because, now more than ever, they’re feeling the squeeze.
But the need to do more with less isn’t always a bad thing, with other industries having found innovative ways to respond to commercial pressures for years.
It’s great seeing how many law firms are rising to the challenge, with one of our own reports identifying some interesting tactics employed by Australian legal practices to improve productivity. For example, 38% of the people surveyed work remotely at least once a week. And that doesn’t just give staff more freedom – it also allows firms to minimise premises investment costs.
However, the report also shows where some digital benefits are being missed. Four out of five firms still print some or all electronic documents for archiving. And 43% do so because “It’s the way we’ve always done it”.
Obviously, court guidelines and client preferences will drive some of this, but from the conversations I have with legal professionals, there’s also another trend. Many simply don’t believe in digital for digital’s sake and, to be honest, I can see where they’re coming from.