Threat from without

The latest move by Price Waterhouse is the clearest indication yet that accountancy firms are seriously positioning themselves for an onslaught on the legal market.

Accountancy firms have been very successful in the legal markets of countries such as France and Spain, and there is no reason why, with the right resources, they should not be equally successful in the UK market.

Lawyers have not wanted to contemplate this possibility. But now the accountancy firms report that they are being approached by law firms interested in linking up. And Price Waterhouse has had 80 or so CVs from senior lawyers interested in joining its operation.

As Tony Holland points out in The Lawyer viewpoint, it is the medium-sized firms that will be most affected and the possibility must be part of a firm's strategic planning.

And, as he also points out, it is high time the Law Society got to grips with the issue and gave the profession some guidance.