Sorry, Even the Best Legal Future Will Not Be a Safe Place
Despite Best Intentions, Legal Profession Diversity Stagnant in England

Surprise? Accountants Eating Into Lawyers' Work in UK After Reforms

ThinkstockPhotos-451334397According to this story from Legal Futures, the ability of non-lawyers to invest in UK law firms is resulting in “intense competition” for mid-tier law firms from Big Four accounting firms, all of which are licensed under the reforms of the Legal Services Act of 2007 as alternative business service (ABS) providers. The story says the accounting firms are “quietly” taking the more commoditised work away from mid-tier firms, and, according to the head of legal services at the Royal Bank of Scotland, are about to move up the law firm food chain. He summarizes:

The upshot of all of this upheaval is that legal work has become disaggregated, with significantly bolstered in-house teams acting as de facto project managers to a host of legal and resource providers, with the traditional law firm just one constituent part – albeit, in many cases, the one doing the most complex, more profitable work.

Although in the U.S. growing national businesses such as LegalZoom provide a variety of legal services outside the traditional law firm legal service delivery model that is constrained by the rule of professional conduct banning non-lawyer ownership, no jurisdiction in the U.S. has a non-lawyer ownership ABS model like the UK's.

Comments

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Patricia Willis

Many times in cases with client's with substantial assets, they need an accountant in lieu of an attorney, who will only complicate matters, charge outrageous fees, do volumes of paperwork (most of which the secretary does) and most importantly, the parties will end up enemies, especially sad if there are minor children.

Ben

Interesting piece. :)

Noah

Actually a good change. Investing is common sense but not a copyright of some people with degree

maryjane

good change.

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