Morning Briefing: Corporate legal teams want efficiency, cost savings

Chief legal officers say they want external law firms to deliver cost savings through efficiency... Singapore plans all-inclusive growth of international market... Simmons & Simmons revenue grows and firm expands... Linklaters votes on smaller board...

Corporate legal teams want efficiency and cost savings
Corporate legal teams want external law firms to deliver cost savings through efficiency. That’s according to a report from consulting firm Altman Weil that shows less of a concern about alternative billing and use of technology and greater focus on budget forecasting. While innovative ways of delivering services are popular with 42 per cent of chief legal officers polled and 9 per cent actively seek out firms that can offer innovations; 43 per cent are less bothered about a firm’s delivery model as long as the work is done at good value. When asked what they believe is the biggest agent of change for the legal profession in the next decade, the respondents are confident in their own abilities. Just 6.1 per cent said law firms; non-law providers of legal services scored 18.3 per cent; technology 22.6 per cent; and corporate legal teams 43.3 per cent.
Singapore plans all-inclusive growth of international market
Singapore’s minister for law and foreign affairs says that the country’s small- and medium-sized law firms will be given new opportunities and funding to help them seize international business. K Shanmugam has promised that the government will look at ways to help with business structures and technology. The legal sector has been outperforming GDP in Singapore for almost a decade and is set to expand further with more international activity.
Simmons & Simmons revenue grows and firm expands
Simmons & Simmons’ revenue for the first six months of the current financial year has grown by eight per cent to AU$258 million. Increased M&A activity thanks to greater bank lending has helped drive the growth. Newly re-elected managing partner Jeremy Hoyland has overseen an expansion of the firm’s international footprint in the last year with new offices in Beijing and Saudi Arabia and the firm has just announced its intention to open a new office in Luxembourg.
Linklaters votes on smaller board
The partners of Linklaters have been voting on a proposal to cut the number of members of its international board. A yes vote would mean a drop from 15 to 11 voting members. Teresa Ma is the only representative from Asia to have a seat on the board but is not expected to lose her place whatever the outcome of the vote. Linklaters is not alone in seeking to streamline its management and allow senior partners to focus more on client work; Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith Freehills have also recently decided to slim down their international boards.

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