Lawyers may quiver at this:

Only change is certain! And, of course, every change brings with it opportunity – for someone!

Here’s a quote from a recent article in London that should have lawyers quivering who think that law is only a profession and not a business as well:

“As reported by the The Lawyer (6 February), former Panmure Gordon banker Julian Hirst wrote to every managing partner in The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report 2005 last October to gauge their appetite for a potential IPO or other form of external capital. Twenty managing partners expressed an interest in a meeting with the banker.

“Legislation still needs to be passed before the momentous event of a law firm IPO can come to pass, but it is likely that the Government’s white paper on the reform of the legal market will go through within the year. If it does, then the next 12 months may well see the first UK law firm going public.

“But as one UK partner put it after the story’s publication in The Lawyer: ‘Does a client want lawyers who are managed by external shareholders?’

“It is a fair point, but it is still far from clear whether many lawyers want it either. As Hirst told The Lawyer: ‘The key issue that firms need to grapple with is a shift from a culture where all of the profits are paid out at the end of each year to one where money is invested in building the business and creating long-term value through share price appreciation.'”

It may seem clear what the opportunity may be for the large firm lawyer in this scenario. But, what is the opportunity for the small to mid-size law firm here?


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