It’s time the U.S. legal industry puts pressure on State Bars to effect re-regulation that promotes competition, sanctions law firm investment capital for technology, process, and retention of top-flight talent, and allows ‘non-lawyers’ to invest in law firms, share profits, and take them public. Australia sanctioned such re-regulation of legal guild rules nearly two decades ago. The UK followed that path about a decade later with the passage of the Legal Services Act of 2007 (LSA) and its implementation in October 2011. Other developed nations—France, Germany, and Canada, for example—are on the cusp of some form of re-regulation. The U.S. has stood pat and has thrice rejected efforts aimed at re-regulation during the new millennium. Why? [Read more…]
It’s hardly news that the once-cozy relationship between BigLaw and corporate legal departments has morphed into something quite different. In Facebook terms, it’s gone from “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated.” Relationships once cemented over rounds of golf and scotch have yielded to RFP’s and reverse auctions. The bloom is off the rose. And clients are voting with their feet as companies replace law firms about as often as laterals hopscotch in search of sweeter deals. But corporate legal departments are doing a lot more than simply substituting one firm for another.