Law Firm Leaders Forum Preview: Legal Marketplace Seeing Hyper-Competition amid Flat Demand, Report Shows

Topics: Law Firm Leaders Forum, Law Firms, Peer Monitor, Thomson Reuters


NEW YORK — The legal industry has changed dramatically in the years since the beginning of the Great Recession, and is now driven by market forces like hyper-competition, technological innovation and slower demand for legal services. These forces continue to push change on the industry, forging it into something very different from what it was less than a decade ago.

At this week’s 20th Anniversary of Law Firm Leaders, presented by Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute, one panel will feature new data from Peer Monitor and Citi Private Bank that analyzes some of that change, especially hyper-competition which is now coming from traditional competitors, lower cost alternative legal service providers, and law firms from other segments. These new competitors and non-traditional market players are increasingly competing on price and attempt to buy growth and market share by luring talent from traditional firms.

In that panel, Michael Abbott, Vice President of Client Management & Thought Leadership at Thomson Reuters, and Dan DiPietro, Managing Director & Chairman of Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group will present a report entitled, 2015 and Beyond: Responding to a Hyper-Competitive Market. The data presented will frame the legal industry’s composition now, and emphasizes how competitive it has become even as demand struggles at lower levels than before the recession. The report is compiled from Peer Monitor’s data on AmLaw 100, Second 100 and MidSize law firms and Citi’s 2015 Law Firm Leaders Survey and Dispersion Study.

Using survey data gathered from law firms’ managing partners themselves, the report will lay out the landscape and the forces that have pushed such competitiveness, such as technological innovations and clients’ pursuit of lower fees and better service.

PMI Slide 1

Also, the factors that have slowed demand for legal services — such as a still fragile global economic recovery that casts shadows of possible future downturns, and changes in how and from whom clients purchase legal services — also will be examined.

PMI Graph 2

A panel made up of Paul W. Theiss, Chairman of Mayer Brown LLP, and J. Henry Walker IV, Chairman of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Bradford W. Hildebrandt, Chairman of Hildebrandt Consulting LLC, in addition to Abbott and DiPietro will follow the presentation with a discussion of the market as well as relative performance.