Looking back on 5 years of blogging part 2 – Recession and Legal

Jason

Looking back the trigger for me starting a blog was the credit crunch and global financial crisis that hit at the end of 2008. Because of this timing I’ve followed the impact of the financial crisis on Legal through the last five years and posted a number of entries along the way.

Below are some of the posts I’ve picked out:

In February 2009 I was clearly a little optimistic on when the upturn would appear! Looking back we didn’t realise just how long it would take to start the road back to economic recovery. Are we prepared now? – Are you ready for the upturn?

I still stand by my post from March 2009, though I don’t see the type of Legal shakeup favoured by Susskind etc. I see more of a long haul change of a saturated market. Lots more consolidation, shrinking supply, lower fees = lower lawyer take home. It’ll be the next generation of lawyers, the ones still in primary school now, that will be the ones to shake it up as they won’t have any expectation of the salaries currently in BigLaw - Last time it was manufacturing, this time it’s white collars turn! I also took a look at this consolidation of law firms in a post from July of 2009 – Consolidation within the UK 200?

I then revisited the above thinking in February 2010 as well, looking at the whether the good times would ever return to Legal – Law Firms, the good times are gone for ever! and yet again in November  of that year - “A company from here doing rather well over there” and vice versa

By 2011 outsourcing was on the radar in a big way in Legal as many firms continued to look at ways of cutting costs. I looked at this in a post in February 2011 - Outsourced!

By 2012 the long talked about ABS structure started appearing more and more. I took a look at this in February 2012 – ABS on ABS (or another blummin’ story on alternative business structures!) and looked at how it could be interesting for Legal IT. Looking back and hearing some stories from within IT depts within ABS firms I’m not quite as optimistic now.

By the end of 2012 the economy was clearly on the verge of turning the corner, but consolidation and cost cutting was still going on in Legal. This led to a slightly topical Olympics title in October - London 2012 – the rise of the regional upstarts?

2013 saw only one topic on this subject after reading Richard Susskinds latest book, I wavered a little on my thinking for a “revolution” in Legal but I think the post roughly follows the thinking I’ve had since 2009! – Tomorrow’s Lawyers – still waiting for tomorrow!

And finally there were a number of posts where I looked specifically at Legal IT depts. Echoing a recent post in the wake of the NatWest IT issues I took a look at the impact of the recession on the IT depts in law firms in July 2009. – Does IT matter in law firms?. Then in January 2011 took a look at whether the Legal IT dept had a future when the rapid technology change combined with the recession. – RIP Legal IT?

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