Loved an article in this month’s Asia Law Business, entitled, Boutique firms gain market from general practices. I have multiple reasons for loving it. First, the headline alone is music to my ears as my law firm is, as far as I know, the only United States law firm that bills itself as an international law boutique. The article then reaffirms what I thought this recession would do, which is cause companies to move their Asia legal work to boutique law firms to decrease costs and improve services:
Companies have started pushing law firms for fee reductions and they are searching for other options to get the same level of service, without paying the highest rates in the country.”
Competitive legal fees and flexibility are the two main weapons in the specialist firms’ arsenal. Even in the US where firms have been hit hard by the crisis, specialist firms are also benefiting from the legal market ‘shifts.’ Although Harris Bricken — a US-based international law practice that focuses on Asia and Europe — did feel the economic downturn in early 2009, it has recorded record high revenue every single month since March, 2009. “That’s largely due to our getting a number of larger-than-normal clients, many of whom have told us they are tired of paying “big law firm” prices and like our flat-fee rates,” says co-founder Dan Harris.
Companies are using boutique law firms not just to save money, but also to get better access to experienced lawyers:
Even without the financial crisis, specialist firms say they are able to gain market share by being flexible and building relationships. Companies like specialist boutique law firms because they get much easier access to senior partners, the relationship is far more informal and there’s greater flexibility in discussing various issues. Larger firms feel more institutionalized and corporatized.
I couldn’t have said it better myself…..
What do you think?