Law Practice Management
Cyclical Downturn or Paradigm Shift? BigLaw Leaders Aren’t Sure
Posted Mar 30, 2009 7:06 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
It's been a stunningly severe economic downturn, with nearly 7,000 legal jobs lost at major United States and United Kingdom firms—so far—this year.
But is the sudden change of fortunes, possibly, a paradigm shift, rather than simply another cyclical downturn? Law firm leaders aren't sure, reports the Lawyer.
Regardless of how it is characterized, the dismal economic situation will push firms to reconfigure further, says Nigel Knowles, the joint chief executive of DLA Piper.
While those in charge of elite law firms traditionally sought out for sophisticated, big-ticket matters "will say there’s been a flight to quality," he tells the legal publication, "there’s also been a flight to value.
"There will be fewer clients, particularly in the financial services sector, and the clients will want to pay less," Knowles continues. "There’s going to be tremendous pressure on fee rates, particularly those rates often charged by the magic circle and charmed circle.”
ABAJournal.com: "After Early March Mayhem, Law Firm Layoffs Slow: Month’s Total Nears 3,500"
ABAJournal.com: "Partner Pay Cuts are New Signpost in Dismal Law Firm Economic Landscape"