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BigLaw Growth is Dead – Lower Cost Support Tipping Point?

Skip this post if you believe the BigLaw market will return to its pre-2007 state. If not, does your firm have a strategy to control and reduce costs? Two reports last week remind us of the tough market Biglaw faces. Bruce MacEwen, aka Adam Smith, Esq., has written three masterful ins

Law Firms Adopting Legal Processing Outsourcing Methods

Legal process outsourcing (LPO) hit the legal news almost 10 years ago. Initially, it was controversial. Whatever your views of it, you should note that law firms are now widely adopting its techniques. I first observed the trend of ‘law firms becoming LPO providers’ in a

Will Pillsbury’s Nashville Service Center Trigger More BigLaw Cost-Saving Moves

Yet another large law firm has opened a low cost service center. Is this old news that firms can simply note – or a call to action? Last week Pillsbury announced that it will open a low cost service center in Nashville, TN. Let’s start with a review of which other firms ha

Steps toward Law Factory: A&O Belfast Center; Cisco Privacy Website

With Legal Tech New York ending today and the monster storm, don’t miss two interesting, and seemingly unrelated news items from today slip by. One is that Allen & Overy is opening a low cost, onshore service center. The other is that Cisco has launched a privacy and securit

Does Herbert Smith’s Belfast Doc Review Center Portend More Law Factories?

Recently I have been exploring “Law Factory” – the concept that the legal market will offer low cost, industrialized processes for routine work that are separate from “bet the farm” operations for high-stakes matters. An open question is whether the two can co-

BigLaw New Normal Looks Bad – More ‘WilmerHale Moves’ Coming?

More evidence has come in that the new normal for large law firms looks bad: the Hildebrandt Baker Robbins Peer Monitor Economic Index (PMI). This index is a function of demand (billable hours), productivity (hours per lawyer), rates, direct expenses, and overhead expenses. The 2010 Q

Law Firm Competition in a Cost Conscious Era

The legal press loves to pit US and UK firms against one another. This week, evidence of another dimension in that competition. Large UK law firms have embraced low cost, offshore operations more enthusiastically than US firms. View from the Top – David Childs, global managing p

Central Back Offices and Outsourcing

You may recall Orrick’s decision to re-locate information technology, HR, and other functions to a central location in Wheeling, WV. See Almost Heaven: Orrick Relocates Tech Operations to West Virginia (, October 2002). Yesterday I was reminded of this when I read Center