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Partners need to become less risk averse in the law firms of tomorrow

By Tim Aspinall, Managing Partner, DMH Stallard

2 March 2012

Are the law firms of tomorrow going to be owned by a smaller group of entrepreneurial lawyers prepared to risk more capital for the rewards that were taken for granted a few years ago?

This seems increasingly likely in a legal market where law firms continue to de-equitise equity partners (owners) as a response to lower profits. Although this maintains PEP, it increases the amount of capital that each remaining owner has to inject into the business to replace that of the leaving partners and generally increases the risk of the remaining owners. 

Most lawyers are naturally risk averse because of the nature of our work. When being an owner was a one-way bet, this didn’t matter. However, in the new environment where law firm failures seem more commonplace, ownership may increasingly appeal only to more risk-taking entrepreneurial lawyers, with others happy to accept the greater certainty o...

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