Reviewed by: Eduardo Reyes
Author: Michael H Trotter
Michael Trotter has written a frank piece of professional introspection – a wake-up call for the largest corporate law firms who are used to generating extraordinary profits.
Trotter looks at changes in legal practice in firms using the ‘New York Model’, which has vastly increased the hours worked by lawyers and created highly leveraged teams. These firms can only be maintained at vast expense, create unhappy lawyers and have adversely affected the quality and value of client service.
Competition between these firms takes place amid over-supply and the growth of in-house legal departments, which are taking more work in-house.
He concludes that something has to give. Smaller ‘New Model Firms’ are emerging, which use leveraging that clients prefer and cost less. They take opportunities other firms miss and will compete for more high-end work. Declining Prospects is a sane read, but its conclusions change everything.
Eduardo Reyes is features editor at the Law Society Gazette