​Real estate a real issue

This year’s UK200 Annual Report broke new ground when it revealed not only the real estate costs of many of the UK’s top firms but also the huge disparity in a bunch of increasingly important metrics. Most notably, the £1,508 per square foot revenue generated at commoditised legal services provider Minster dwarfed that of Sheffield-based Wake Smith’s £197.

Today’s story offers a sneak preview into Jones Lang LaSalle’s annual report into global real estate trends, echoes those findings. The property services provider’s in-depth report makes for pretty glum reading for any senior law firm management. But there are hints in there of the tactics firms can use to get their real estate costs back on track. As Richard Proctor, the law firm practice lead (Emea) at Jones Lang LaSalle and the man behind the report tells told The Lawyer Management, “We’ve seen an awful lot of sub-letting with firms downsizing by between 10 and 20 per cent to reduce overheads”.

Elsewhere in this issue of The Lawyer Management, Hedley Consultancy’s Andrew Hedley explains why mergers can be an effective way of moving partners out of their comfort zones, while a NatWest report highlights the fact that many firms are still shying away from BD activities despite dwindling work levels.

And in technology circles, check out our peer panel hosted by Symantec which focuses on the ever-topical issue of banking litigation.

Matt Byrne