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Notes on the future of Big Law Firms

By Dr George Beaton For Beaton Capital

12 May 2014

Implications for General Counsel

To extent to which there is an ‘old guard’ (with BigLaw DNA) and a ‘new guard’ amongst GCs was discussed; the consensus and evidence suggested ‘yes, there is’. Implications include willingness to use NewLaw firms with British Telecom appointment of Axiom for anti-trust work being cited as evidence of the latter.

Recognition by BigLaw of what client GCs define as law firm expertise in their businesses and industries was recognised as a major opportunity for those firms who deeply understand how to align themselves with clients. The power of being differentiated in this way is rewarded by mitigating price-down pressures exerted by clients.

This led into a discussion of the merits of law firms managing, or at least co-managing, the whole legal supply chain as Seyfarth Shaw is already doing.

New, and not-so-new, competitors

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