I’m placing my bets now:
- Four or five big players dominating the retail market. Some will have a high street presence. Some will be virtual-only operations, serving clients via the Internet and telephone. Most will provide 24-hour service, and there will be an almost exclusive focus on legal products, as opposed to one-to-one consultation and hourly billing used primarily today. There will be a huge range of products at varying price points to suit every pocket.
- The middle market will be decimated. The midsize, generalist, regional law firms of today will be hit savagely. Most if not all will be gone. Any that do survive will be struggling along, fighting for a diminishing client base of OAPs and technological refusniks.
- A booming market of boutique law firms – niche players that have found an area in which they can become ‘famous’ as experts, or areas of law too small, or too risky (from a brand and image point of view) that will make the big players avoid them. Some smart firms are starting to head down this path today. Lots more will spring up as many laid-off ex-middle market lawyers use redundancy payments to start their own boutique firm.
Do you agree? One thing is for sure – the future will not be boring!