Value Doesn’t Have to be Virtual

There’s another article about former big-firm lawyers practicing in a smaller-firm environment.

This time it’s in the UK, and the firm is Temple Bright.

It sounds like there’s an office, but no staff or paper. (I always wonder about that last item…).

The three founders:

… have deliberately shunned the classic law firm pyramid structure, with Mr Summers saying SME clients are increasingly unwilling to pay for plush offices and large teams of junior lawyers and administrative staff.
“The market for legal services in the UK is worth £25 billion,” he said. “But how much of that is actually spent on the high quality legal advice clients need to make critical business decisions or conduct their transactions?

(Note: SME is small and medium-sized enterprises).

That’s probably one of the best ways to describe what clients are looking for. If a modest office in a less-pricey neighborhood helps get and keep clients or attract good people, it works. With technology, it’s not like you have to be at the office to practice every day. You could even be meeting with the client, face-to-face, something that many lawyers rarely do anymore.

As the value mantra works its magic on the legal industry, firms will work however good clients want them to and will pay for. The fact is that many large firms have legacy costs and delivery models that were supportable only by high fixed rates, applied topically daily. Even if they are fortunate enough to be busy and able to charge higher rates now, they understand that their clients have choices, and are more open to change than ever.

And there is one thing that any law firm doesn’t want to turn out be virtual: clients.