Another new law firm starting continues a trend for which COVID-19 may prove to be a catalyst. The rise of the boutique is not a new thing in legal services. The hard-pressed mid tier is still just that. And yet...
What's different now might just be the client attitudes to Martini working. Change in law is dependent on client acceptance and indeed on client's driving the change. It has to be this way because law firms are generally very conservative in their approach to change. The pandemic has forced change on us all. It's also served to prove that legal work can continue with clicks not bricks. Trouble is getting your business model to flex from fixed overheads to flexible resourcing models. Our very own Rachel Clayfieldshares some of those challenges here.
So while the virus may be the catalyst speeding up change it may also have released something else that could go viral. The end of the jackets on chairs, high cost real estate world of old law may be coming to an end at last. Going viral may be a world of flexible resourcing that serves the interests of clients and their lawyers alike.
It would be remiss of me not to point to what to us is the logical evolutionary step - that's the platform model. Your own firm or a shared brand on a platform that does all the things you don't want to and leaves you free to do what brought you to law in the first place. No, it wasn't choosing a practice management system or an online gizmo or trying to find PI insurance. It was the clients and their legal problems - problems you could solve with panache and great client service.
I'm off for a Friday beer and to reflect on panache, platforms and boutiques.
The lockdown has demonstrated that you can work and you can continue to serve clients in a world where people don’t physically go into the office and you don’t physically meet people