Law firms should "imagine a new model" report urges

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Law firms must adapt in the face of competition from the Big Four services providers and alternative legal services disruptors.

That’s the key message from a report that urges law firm leaders to question long-standing assumptions and consider how change might be in order.

The report from the Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, says that the traditional law firm model has been largely “broken apart” by new market realities.

“For many years, it was largely assumed by both firms and clients that legal work was labour intensive, could only be performed by lawyers, and that law firms controlled the delivery of legal services,” said James W. Jones, a senior fellow at the Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession at Georgetown Law and the report's lead author. “That no longer reflects the realities of the marketplace for legal services, where new competition, technology and innovative legal service delivery models are rapidly transforming how legal services are provided. Most importantly, these forces are changing who can provide these services and at what price.”

The report - “2019 Report on the State of the Legal Market” – says that changing client demand has left law firms vulnerable to competition. And while the market for law firm services has grown, this has been focused on the largest firms.

But firms of all sizes can benefit from new thinking to adapt to the changing shape of the market.

“As client needs, expectations and behaviors are changing, we are seeing many firms adopt highly innovative approaches to drive greater efficiency, predictability and cost-effectiveness,” said Mike Abbott, vice president, Enterprise Thought Leadership and Content Strategy, Thomson Reuters. “Clients have more choices than ever for meeting their legal needs, and

leading firms are now tailoring their strategies and delivery models to provide legal services in the manner that most effectively intersects with clients’ considerations.”

Ince & Co was in administration when taken over
The UK business of Ince & Co was in administration when UK-listed Gordon Dadds acquired it, according to a report.

The Law Society Gazette says that the London-based LLP had entered administration and was bought in a ‘pre-pack’ deal by Gordon Dadds on the day administrators were appointed (31 December 2018).

The Gordon Dadds Group has since clarified to Australasian Lawyer that Ince & Co's UK business was not in administration when it was acquired.

It says that as part of the deal, 24 equity partners transferred to Ince Gordon Dadds with an 18-month commitment to stay.

The UK business includes the Beijing and Shanghai offices but not those in Hong Kong, Singapore, Europe and the Middle East.

Meanwhile, around 45 roles at the combined Ince Gordon Dadds are reportedly at risk of redundancy following the recent merger due to the duplication of roles, mostly support staff. Consultations with affected staff are believed to be underway.

Hogan Lovells appoints global restructuring & insolvency head
Chris Donoho has been appointed global head of the restructuring and insolvency practice at Hogan Lovells.

The New York partner succeeds London’s Stephen Foster who held the role for eight years.

Donoho has been with the global firm for a decade and spends much of his time protecting the rights of creditors in restructurings, frequently on behalf of investment funds or banks.

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