Beaton Research & Consulting

The 'Voice of Your Clients'​ for Australia and New Zealand's professional services firms.

Where’s the legal services pricing puck heading? is a compelling interview with Richard Burcher, the leading authority on pricing legal services and contributor to the Dialogue on Remaking Law Firms. Thank you for joining the Dialogue on Remaking Law Firms for a Q&A with me today, Richard.  In today’s hyper-competitive world for all types and sizes of law firms, how do the smart firms start when they decide to be more deliberate in the way they…
My Tweet (featured below) gave rise to multiple related and robust conversations, especially about the legal talent that BigLaw (large law firms) hire versus the talent that the Big 4 hire. And I suspect that alternative legal service providers align with the Big 4 for purposes of this talent conversation. The conversations highlighted for me the question of whether the Big 4 can achieve substantially different results, costs, or outcomes by hiring the same legal…
  During a recent visit to the National University of Singapore Law School (NUS), I asked a first-year student what being a lawyer meant to him. His response was thoughtful and prescient: “I regard law as a skill. I plan to leverage my legal training and meld it with my passion for business, technology, and policy. For me, law is not about practice.” Out of the mouths of babes! Why The Practice/Skill Distinction Matters The…
 Law’s shift from practice to skill Getty Royalty Free Getty During a recent visit to the National University of Singapore Law School (NUS), I asked a first-year student what being a lawyer meant to him. His response was thoughtful and prescient: “I regard law as a skill. I plan to leverage my legal training and meld it with my passion for business, technology, and policy. For me, law is not about practice.”…
Remaking News of the Week: GCs show their colours covers a September 29, 2019 post by Bill Henderson titled ‘General counsel stand up to improve the legal talent supply chain’. Bill reports on an open letter from a group of 12 US general counsel “taking the long view by trying to influence the health and vitality of the legal talent supply chain“. They are looking for other general counsel to join them in their quest to improve…
My interim report for the Independent Review of Legal Services Regulation in England & Wales is now out and available here. This post is extracted from it. While the reforms of the Legal Services Act 2007 have been mainly beneficial overall, that legislation might best be characterised as an incomplete step towards restructuring legal services regulation.   For reasons that are understandable, it did not fully follow through on some key elements of the…
If “Money makes the world go ‘round,” then the legal world is spinning as never before. Law has been big business for decades, but only recently has significant venture capital, private equity, and entrepreneur money been pumped into the legal sector. Last year saw an eye-popping 718% increase in legal industry investment, and this year’s capital infusion through the third-quarter has already surpassed last year’s $1 billion total and could well double it. Capital is…
Axiom Law, one of NewLaw’s pioneering companies, both internationally and in Asia, has announced a new private equity investment from Permira, a major investor in LegalZoom.  The new investment comes after a recent planned initial public offering (IPO) was cancelled. As Thomas Allen details in Legal Business, the investment amount is undisclosed, but the investment makes Permira Axiom Law’s majority owner. Permira’s secondary investment in LegalZoom last year totalled USD $500 Million.…
With the march of technology, law firms face a profit problem if two trends persist. The first trend relates to how firms charge for their services. Recent Acritas data reveals that time-based pricing still predominates across the legal market. This includes both billing retrospectively via hourly rates as well as upfront capped or fixed-fee pricing based simply on an estimate of time multiplied by hourly rates. The second trend relates to investment and advances in…