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Stuck in the middle market

Emerging and mid-level firms are struggling to compete in an increasingly competitive market, analyses Mahesh Nandeeshaiah

11 August 2015

Market competition is at an all-time high in the legal sector, yet recent changes in the industry have all but cemented the dominance of big firms. Emerging and mid-level firms are struggling to compete in an increasingly repressed market. Mid-sized firms have seen their margins shrink from between 30-40 per cent to just above 20 per cent since 2010, and their profit per equity partner is considerably lower too.

A PwC survey of UK law firms has drawn attention to this issue. Its findings revealed that the top ten law firms saw their profits rise slightly in 2014, while mid-sized firms performed poorly in comparison. So how can mid-sized law firms fight for survival and claw back profits from market leaders?

New challenges

Although the legal sector is a highly dense, oversaturated market, the hierarchy has changed very little in recent years. However, smaller bu...

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