Nearly a year ago I attended Professor Stephen Mayson’s talk at the College of Law, entitled CATALYST, CATACLYSM OR CATASTROPHE? http://www.the2020group.com/cms/document/stephen_mayson_speech.pdf He focused on the likely impact of the legal services reforms on law firms, and the talk was incredibly thought provoking. Points that have stuck in my mind are that the market will lose as many as half the sole practices that currently exist – as many as 4,000 - and that merging with others in order to grow in size is what may be necessary for survival and success in the new climate, even for niche firms.
In the meantime the Solicitors Regulation Authority - through the new Code of Conduct which came into effect on 1 July – has introduced a number of provisions designed to ensure that law firms are run as businesses – it being recognized that to survive in the new climate, law firms must be well-run, and financially aware.
There will undoubtedly be an impact on trade mark and patent attorneys too under the Legal Services reforms – especially once the multi disciplinary rules are brought into effect. So, perhaps when we next meet as a group the Legal Services Reforms might be a useful topic on which to have a speaker. We could then follow it with a discussion about the likely impact on us small niche firms? Anyone interested?