A study in the legal services market by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has revealed that the top law firms are increasing their dominance in the UK law market. The Law Survey 2012 shows that the top 100 firms now account for almost 50% of total UK law revenue.
The news is even better for the top 10 firms, who are posting significantly better results than all their rivals, and account for 44% of all legal fees billed.
PwC believe that the difference between the top firms and all their rivals lies in their ability to charge premium hourly rates, to bill more hours than their competitors and to keep a tight control on the number of fee earners they recruit.
The top firms are also making the most of international opportunities, expanding into new and rapidly developing legal markets, including Singapore, China and Brazil. Roughly 50% of the top 25 law firms now source 40% of their income abroad.
PwC's advice to mid-tier firms is to focus on offering high quality services in niche areas, rather than look to offer a wide range of services in a similar vein to other firms.
David Snell is the leader of the professional partnerships advisory group at PwC:
"In the mid-tier, clear strategic focus is required and firms that deliver a quality client service in a niche area often do better than those which seek to provide a full service offering with no differentiation" he said.
The survey paints a challenging picture for the legal services market for the next twelve months, with firms accepting that the domestic market is maturing and that middle tier firms will likely continue to merge, creating fresh competition for the big guns.
Top 10 law firms increase their dominance, says PwC (The Telegraph)