Kent Zimmerman, a consultant with the Zeughauser Group, was featured in an interview with Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia about the state of the legal industry in Q4 2012 and 2013. Using the recent Citi Private Bank Annual Survey of Law Firm Performance data, plus insights gleaned from Zeughauser Group’s law firm clients, Zimmerman predicts that demand for legal services is slowing enough that law firms will have to make some hard choices.
Among other things, for 2013 he predicts:
- Lay-offs of under performing lawyers and further reductions in staff
- An increase in the use of LPOs (LPO annual revenue reached $1 billion for the first time this year)
- Firms must get “leaner” and stay “nimble” to best compete
- There will be at least one large law firm merger
- 3-5 AmLaw 200 firms might fail
- More firms will finally embrace “what they are known-for” as their go to market strategy.
As dour as this might sound, it signals opportunities for firms:
- with strong leaders in place (who are given permission to have a vision and execute on it)
- that embraced “lean” in 2008 and before
- which understand that superior technology infrastructure on the marketing and business development side can both increase revenue and lower cost/headcount, and
- that are tired of talking about “the new normal” and are finally doing something about it.
Here is a link to the Bloomberg Law interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5b8AclrZuE&feature=youtu.be