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A perfect storm

Most commentators expect that there will be significant consolidation of the private client market in the next few years. Mark Brandon explains how small firms can rise to the challenge

25 February 2013

Looking ahead, private client law faces a number of key questions, all of which seem to interlock: how to appeal to generations ‘X’ and ‘Y’, how to combat the influx of leveraged capital into the industry via alternative business structures (ABS) and how to make the sector appealing to meet succession needs. Together these challenges represent a perfect storm.

The introduction of ABS has thrown open the doors of the UK legal profession. Private client will be a core offering of ‘Tesco Law’ style operators, capturing much of the low-hanging fruit in the high street, the bread-and-butter private client work, which accounts for an average 12.5 per cent of the fee income of small and medium-sized law firms.

But that 12.5 per cent may be misleading. How many clients of your private client department are also your key property developers, owner-managers or investors? Lose the most personal bit of the business and you may lose ...

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