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Time for change PwC Law Firms’ Survey 2017

Not familiar with this survey?; An interesting and a definitely need to read report by PWC.

From the survey:


Last year’s Law Firms’ Survey, being the 25th anniversary edition, looked back over the period since 1991 and described law firms having ‘stood the test of time’, surviving and prospering as many did through that period. However, as we move through and beyond 2017, we believe the pace of change will accelerate. The impact of new competition is growing, and the exchange rate volatility we have witnessed this year has given US rivals an even stronger hand in competing for talent. But perhaps the biggest challenge comes in recognising and preparing for the impact that technology will have. Changes are already underway, and it is clear that technology will impact all aspects of law firm operations, from clients, to business support and, importantly, staff recruitment and retention.

Set against this challenging background, our 2017 Law Firms’ Survey reports that in many respects law firm performance has plateaued, if not declined. With profitability under pressure, and with a digital revolution inevitable for professional services firms, fundamental action is needed to future-proof the shape and operation of the firm. Our message for this year is ‘time for change’.

The global picture

This year’s survey has seen modest growth on a global basis. UK fee income has increased by only a few percentage points, with international expansion contributing more significantly to the overall global picture.

Global law firms headquartered in the UK have benefitted from Sterling weakening across a number of currencies following the Brexit vote in June 2016, and ongoing economic uncertainty has only weakened it further. Top 10 firms, for example, have seen average global fee income rise by almost 5% due to movements in foreign exchange, and profit has benefitted by 4.4% – or around £33k per partner. Such levels of FX volatility have given firms pause for thought in terms of managing exchange risk, in particular where it impacts on partner remuneration... Read more in the Survey

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