Partnering For Success: A View Of Legal Sector Trends In 2017
Despite being viewed as a traditionally conservative industry, the legal sector is not immune to trends or client demands, which is why the focus has fallen on globalisation. Driven largely by clients and enabled by technology, there is now an expectation of brand consistency and friendly faces in every location.
Additionally, as more companies grow and operate on the global stage they expect their law firms to be able to service international activity and be up to date on both regulations and legislation, as well as best practice.
So how can firms who have traditionally operated in smaller regions meet these requirements?
The most anticipated change to come from the growing demand for globalisation is the merging of firms across international borders. Rival firms from large regions such as the US and Europe immediately spring to mind and it’s true they have tended to be sceptical of this approach, particularly as it hasn’t always worked in the past.
However, despite being challenging, Dentons, the world’s largest law firm by lawyer numbers, is proof that it can be achieved. Following 25 mergers the firm has a global footprint of approximately 7,500 lawyers in 60 countries.
The biggest reason that mergers are looked upon with such scepticism is that there have been so many instances of poor cultural fits. It is almost guaranteed to fail if one firm takes on the acquisition role and tries to mould the other firm into an existing culture.
Rather, both firms need to have strongly aligned cultures, values and a desire for excellence – all of which should be outlined in the common vision displayed by the leadership team.
Additionally, there should be clarity on where the firm is going and what the benefits of merging will be.
There is no denying that a significant amount of work is required to make a merger successful. All aspects need to be managed smartly and leadership teams should be able to clearly articulate the future of the firm.
The advantages of a successful merger are clear though – you are able to leverage the strengths of each firm to the full extent and benefit from the synergies created.
Legal Sector Trends Report 2017
This is just a broad overview of the importance of mergers for the legal industry. To delve deeper, download our 2017 Legal Industry Snapshot.