Consulting firm Hildebrandt and The Law Firm Group of the Citigroup Private Bank, which works with many of the leading law firms, have just released their 2005 Client Advisory. The combination of Hildebrandt’s strategic insight with Citigroup’s financial insight yields a very useful look at the state of the legal market. 

Anyone operating in the large law firm environment, including CIOs and senior technology managers, should stay current with the overall market environment, so this report is a must read. Some highlights I found interesting include:

  • Among 143 firms analyzed, revenue grew about 9%, with 3% coming from hours and 6% from rate increases.
  • US law firms continue to consolidate and to grow internationally.
  • Clients may finally be resisting law firm rate increases.
  • “From a technology standpoint, 2004 was a year in which many firms focused internally on their infrastructures and advanced use of systems, as well as externally on enhanced client communication and collaboration tools. We expect these to remain primary areas of focus in 2005 as well.”
  • Many firms are fostering teamwork and taking CRM (actual client relationship, not just systems) more seriously.
  • “Outsourcing of various “back office” functions that began developing as a serious trend in 2004 will expand during 2005 as law firms continue to look for ways to optimize their delivery of legal services.”

There is much much more in this report worth reading.