Lawyers like you are emerging from the challenging economic climate business-savvy, resilient and fiercely independent – with 1 in 4 feeling more confident about the future of their practice than ever before.
That’s what our research is telling us. Last year we released our first Bellwether Report: Survive or Thrive? – a temperature check on the changing legal landscape (more on this here).
This year we’re back for more. Following 170 interviews with your peers, the Bellwether Report 2014: Brave New World explores the trending successes and concerns of independent lawyers, smaller firms and sole practitioners across the UK.
There’s so much to cover; we’re releasing it in two parts. If you sign up to the business of law blog using the link below – you’ll get your copy of part 1 plus be first in line to receive the hotly awaited second instalment, delving deeper into the entrepreneurial future of independent legal practice.
To whet your appetite, here’s our top 4 findings from Part 1 of the Bellwether Report 2014: Brave New World…
1. You’re more confident than ever before
- 1 in 4 independent legal practitioners are feeling very confident about the future of their practice, almost twice as many as 2013.
- Firms are more certain about economic stability, and are taking proactive steps now to future-proof their business (more on this in part 2 of the report).
2. Business is (broadly) booming
- Business is booming – 82% of firms describe themselves as either in growth (42%) or stable (40%).
- Business growth is higher (55%) amongst an emerging breed of dynamic entrepreneurial lawyers with top tier pedigree (more on this in part 2, where we’ll be interviewing some of these innovative movers and shakers and filming the results.)
- Independent lawyers are focusing on smart use of technology, marketing and networking in order to build their business.
3. You’ve got a lot on your plate, but it’s not phasing you
- Your top concern is compliance, a significant challenge for 78% of you. Tailing closely behind is the attracting new business (75%) and keeping up to date with industry changes / processes and systems (71%).
- We were a bit concerned to note that there’s a general lack of exit strategies in place – even amongst the ages 50-60, only 1 in 4 have plans in place.
- It’s become ever more difficult and expensive to obtain Professional Indemnity Insurance. 1 in 3 have experienced an increase this year, by a whopping average of 20% – hitting already tight margins hard.
4. You’re actively embracing change
- Despite 60% having a big city / mid-tier background, only 7% of our respondents would dream of swapping their independence for a larger firm. ¾ of sole practitioners have selected this career as an active lifestyle decision.
- Independent firms recognise they can never stand still: over 2/3 feel that their firm’s culture is one of ‘actively embracing change.’
- There’s life beyond the law: (68%) enjoy managing the business side of their role – as many as those who say they get a real buzz out of practicing the law (66%).
How do you fit within these findings? Are you surprised? We’d be very keen to hear from you in the comment box below.
And this is just the start.
Fill in the form below to sign up to the Business of Law blog and download your copy of Part 1 of the Bellwether Report 2014. And even better, simply by signing up, you’ll first in line to receive all sorts of other exciting free materials, tools and tips to support you in growing your own independent legal practice.