Smaller outfits are also most concerned about technology disruption and business operations
Asked what three issues most concerned their firms in 2017, 62% of surveyed firms said they were most anxious about recruitment, retention, motivation, and restructuring, the Law Society said, citing data from a survey conducted by New Zealand-based practice management consultant Simon Tupman.
The survey, which was conducted in February and March, involved 29 small law firms in New Zealand and Australia. The participating firms had an average number of seven partners, with 59% having five or fewer partners. Among those who participated, 55% serve commercial clients and 81% serve private clients.
The survey found that the next most concerning issues for the firms were related to technology, particularly disruption and adoption, with 28% indicating the issue. Third related to business operations, particularly business development, boosting profitability, and reducing overheads and costs.
Smaller Australasian law firms also said they are worried about succession, growth and expansion, partner remuneration, commoditisation, and cybercrime.
A majority of the participating firms also indicated that in recent months, they have considered mergers or have been approached or have approached other firms for a possible combination.
The survey found that 62% considered merging with other firms and 60% have been courted or have courted other firms. However, only 10% said mergers were “almost definite” and 46% said that the possible mergers had “little likelihood” of materialising.
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