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Legal industry professionals say prospects for their future legal business look bright, but cite pricing pressures and cybersecurity as the biggest challenges their firms face, according to a recent survey published on The American Lawyer. The survey, conducted by legal software company Aderant, indicated that law firm professionals have a rosy view of their potential business. More than half of the survey’s respondents—some 57 percent—reported that business was “better” or “much better” at their law firms than it was over the prior year.

Beyond the survey’s findings about law firms’ business optimism, Aderant also asked respondents to name the most significant challenges facing their firms. According to the survey, the top five challenges facing law firms included pricing pressure, cybersecurity, operational efficiency, technology adoption and competition. Among respondents polled from US firms, cybersecurity jumped from sixth place in this survey the previous year to tie for the top spot with pricing in 2018, (as quoted in The American Lawyer).

The survey also included questions about innovation and new technology. While innovation is a hot topic in the legal industry, Aderant reported that more than 70 percent of respondents said their firm does not have anyone on staff specifically dedicated to innovation. But that response changes as law firm size grows, according to the survey. Just shy of 56 percent of respondents from firms with more than 500 lawyers said their firm had a staff member focused on innovation and new technology issues, (as quoted in The American Lawyer).

See highlights from the full report and article on The American Lawyer.

Contact Bill Sugarman for more information.

In-House Counsel at large international companies experience greater satisfaction when working with small or medium sized firms, according to a new survey reported on The American Lawyer. The survey, released by The Lawyer Research Service in collaboration with Globality, found respondents at large global companies are three times more dissatisfied working with larger law firms (19%) than smaller ones (6%).

Of the 71% of respondents that outsource the majority of work to smaller firms, nearly two-thirds (63%) report smaller firms provide better client service and almost half (40%) find smaller firms to be more innovative than traditional Big Law firms. Additionally, companies are becoming increasingly turned off by large firms due to their high prices, with over half of survey respondents saying their primary frustration when working with larger law firms is cost.

“We get better client service from smaller firms. When we instruct larger firms, we are probably one of their smaller customers and just another customer in the long list they already have. If you go to a smaller firm, even with a fairly small legal spend, we can be an important customer to them,” said Ben Woolf, General Counsel EMEA at Tate & Lyle, a U.K.-based multinational agribusiness, in a press release announcing the survey results.

See highlights from the full article on The American Lawyer.

Contact Bill Sugarman for more information.