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Small is beautiful for law firms, finds new report

Left to right: Jim Truscott, Matt Fleetwood and James Flynn of Beyond Corporate Law

The future is bright for smaller law firms, according to the new Bellwether Research report from LexisNexis UK.

The number of solicitors leaving larger practices to work in smaller firms has increased from 53 percent in 2016 to 64 percent in 2019, says the Bellwether report titled: ‘Is the Future Small?’.

The report found that 9 out of ten solicitors considered the benefits of working in a small firm to be generally “advantageous”, citing the ability to remain in control (82 percent), a better client experience (79 percent), and swift decision making (76 percent) as the major benefits, among others.

Matt Fleetwood, Head of Beyond Corporate Law, based in Manchester city centre, said: “Size is an important consideration for solicitors, as it dictates everything from recruitment to size of workload and, very importantly, workplace culture.

“The findings of this report come as no surprise to us. We’ve seen the large corporate firms at first hand and believe them to be a model that’s under increasing pressure, both from the perspective of the lawyers in those businesses, and for their clients, certainly with regard to the entrepreneurial and owner-led businesses on which we focus our attention.

Jon Whittle, market development director, LexisNexis UK, said: “While small law firms believe the benefits of their size outweigh the challenges, these organisations aren’t dismissive of the challenges they face, which is a good thing. Their combination of realism, confidence and optimism will likely help them to continue to thrive.”