EG director Scott Gibson presented to 50+ HR professionals from Allen & Overy, Anthony Gold, Ashurst, BLP, Bingham McCutchen, Bristows, Clyde & Co, Fladgate, Fox Williams, Holman Fenwick Willans, Kingsley Napley, Leigh Day, Linklaters, Macfarlanes, Mayer Brown International, McDermott Will & Emery, Mishcon de Reya, Nabarro, Norton Rose Fulbright, Peters & Peters, Pinsent Masons, Piper Smith Watton, RPC, Rosenblatt, Shearman & Sterling, Slaughter & May, Travers Smith, Trowers & Hamlins, Wedlake Bell, White & Case and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co at a HR in Law event on Tuesday October 14 2014 at Macfarlanes LLP's office (20 Cursitor Street, London, EC4A 1LP).
The briefing was:
'An invitation to the market renaissance?'
After years of appalling market conditions, law firms have slimmed down their UK associate pools, re-tooled their compensation structures and slashed trainee numbers and support staff to retain profitability. During this time an increasingly widespread view of law firm management has been that a permanent shift in markets overseas, combined with the rise of alternative legal service providers and increased competition from in-house, means that, regardless of any short-term cyclical improvements in the UK economy, the domestic commercial law firm market is over-lawyered and in fundamental structural decline.
Whilst this presentation gently challenges some of the more pessimistic predictions about the medium term prognosis for UK law firms, it flags the very real short to medium term attrition, recruitment and compensation issues that HR and recruitment teams are already facing in a sharply improved market starved of junior and mid-level lawyers. It touches on issues around merit based associate pay in a hot market and looks at whether HR teams, in substituting non-permanent contractors and paralegals for permeant lawyers, can mitigate a supply and demand crunch.