Firms to avoid own goal with northshoring

The World Cup hasn’t been the only talking point this week. In today’s issue, DLA Piper global co-chief executive Sir Nigel Knowles reminds us that the legal sector remains fragmented: there are simply too many firms offering services without any clear differentiation.

But what’s a firm to do in this new more-for-less world? How can it gain larger market share? According to management consultancy OMC Partners, the answer for most will be to have some form of alternative sourcing by 2019. This could take the shape of captive centres in low-cost regions, back-office functions abroad or jobs being sent out to external providers. 

Sounds straightforward enough. But if the bulk of the top 100 are going to open a support arm, statistics would dictate that a good proportion are going to get it wrong (read how to avoid being in that gang in this week’s cover feature).

The complications don’t end there. As firms rejig their business models, the way some benchmark performance is likely to change too. Dentons’ decision to stop disclosing its average profit per equity partner, expressed in a letter to The American Lawyer, sparked a storm last week.

Read The Lawyer editor Catrin Griffiths’ response here.

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