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Staying the course

Private client departments need to become more efficient ?to survive, says Alastair Ross

18 January 2013

Let’s be honest. Ten years ago ‘lawyer’ and ‘efficient’ were two words that you could pretty much guarantee would never be found in the same sentence.

In 2002, law firms were enjoying a period of prosperity and growth that would continue for another five years. But 2008 brought the beginning of a perfect storm to UK law firms; one that still rages today, caused by the combination of a severe economic downturn, the Legal Services Act and the increasing impact of the internet.

Steep drop

Now, the world is a much tougher place for law firms. Private client departments have been particularly impacted by the economic downturn. There has been a steep drop in residential property transactions. And new entrants have emerged: traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ competitors enabled by ABS (for example, Cooperative Legal Services), and inter...

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