The top end of the market is changing as clients and client demand for legal services changes, says Linklaters managing partner Simon Davies
“The top end of the market is changing as clients and client demand for legal services changes. Economic activity is being driven from an ever-more diffuse range of jurisdictions with all the challenges that brings in terms of winning and maintaining client relationships. The top end of the market is fairly well-defined for developed economies, but the same model will not apply for emerging economies, where firms will need to make delicate judgements on the depth of practice they offer.
”Firms need to be clear on their strategy in each market in which they operate. Over the next five years they will have to make choices about where and how they work, with an inevitable trade-off between scale and quality. Revenue growth will be challenging as the market outlook remains uncertain and growth will need to be achieved for the most part by winning market share, particularly in established markets. Other revenue growth will be driven by emerging markets, and positioning for the top end of those markets will be strategically critical.
”I’m sure many Chinese firms will be watching the progress of King & Wood Mallesons with interest. There are other options for Chinese firms participating in and growing in international markets, for example Dacheng ’s move into Moscow, Zhong Lun opening in London and recent lateral hires by Jun He.”