Large commercial law firms face a squeeze in client legal spending in the next 12 months, as virtually all corporate clients who have not yet reviewed instructions and spend plan to do so. The result will be massive consolidation among firms.
That is the conclusion of annual benchmarking research covering in-house legal departments and large commercial law firms conducted by executive network business Winmark, revealed in a presentation at DLA Piper's London offices last night.
According to the report, 48% of corporate clients said they had already completed a review of law firm relationships and spend, while nearly all of the rest - 44% - planned to do so in 2013-14.
The resultant squeeze on legal spend is forcing large commercial law firms to consider merging with another firm, and to bet on international work to create growth.
Just over half expect to be involved in a merger in the next 12 months while 32% believed that international work provided the greatest opportunity for growth in the next 12 months.