The herd immunity of big law firms

By Peter Frankl. When the mid-year AFR Partnership survey was published, it would have been reasonable to expect the worst result in living memory, coinciding with the worst pandemic and economic disruption in living memory. Nope – not for the big law firms. Assuming there isn’t a grand conspiracy – where mass sackings were held over until after the survey’s publishing – it seemed very much like any other year. The hints for such an unexpected positive outcome were the numerous announcements of promotions. You may have been puzzled by the promotions fanfare since it followed so soon after the […]

Morae Expands Strategic Advisory Team With Acquisition Of Janders Dean

Morae Global Corporation, a leading provider of transformative legal and compliance solutions for corporations and law firms, has announced the acquisition of legal management consultancy Janders Dean. The deal establishes a UK-based legal advisory practice group to assist in meeting growing global demand, especially from large law firms and international in-house legal teams looking to re-evaluate how legal work is done. The UK team will complement Morae’s existing US-based advisory team and will assist clients with legal spend management, resource management, process and policy enhancement, and technology and knowledge service transformation. The Janders Dean team of senior analysts and consultants […]

How to add dispute resolution to your practice in 5 easy steps

By College of Law. Dispute resolution is a popular choice for law firms to expand their areas of practice and provide clients with more options to amicably settle their matters. However, it can be tough to know where to start, particularly if you have never formally practised or studied dispute resolution. We spoke to commercial mediator Cecily Zhu, managing director of the Accord Group, about how lawyers can effectively skill up in dispute resolution. Develop your creative problem solving Cecily is a nationally accredited mediator, Fair Work Commission conciliator and admitted lawyer – and she is keenly aware of how different dispute […]

New ‘amica’ online service to assist couples to separate amicably

A ground-breaking new digital service will empower separating couples to resolve their family law disputes online. Suitable for couples whose relationship is relatively amicable, the new ‘amica’ tool enables users to negotiate and communicate online with their former partner at their own pace, in their own time and in their own space. amica uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to suggest the split of assets, taking into account: the couple’s particular circumstances; the kinds of agreements reached by couples in similar situations; and how courts generally handle disputes of the same nature. The tool can also assist parents to develop a […]

$2 billion partnership to deliver legal assistance services

A new partnership between the Commonwealth and states and territories will provide a significant boost to legal services available to vulnerable Australians, including people affected by domestic violence. The National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-25 (NLAP) will distribute over $2 billion between all states and territories for Commonwealth funded legal assistance. Developed in collaboration with the states and territories, the NLAP builds on the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-20 (NPA) and incorporates recommendations from recent reviews of the NPA and the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program. “The new $2 billion includes additional funding of $248 million over five years. […]

Strong sign of property sales returning to normal

CoreLogic reports: there were 1,424 homes scheduled for auction this week returning a clearance rate of 64.5 per cent. In the previous week it was 1,251 at auction. This time last year saw 1,295 homes taken to auction across the capital cities and a clearance rate of 62.9 per cent.  There were more homes scheduled for auction this week (1,424) than in the equivalent week of 12 months ago (1,295). On these figures the market is not only back to normal but better than last year. Although this is excellent news for those in the property market, there must be […]

The next revolution in legal services has begun

With the action of one litigation funder acquiring a share in a UK law firm, the distinction between funder and legal services provider is breaking down. Is this legal services innovation or financial services innovation? It is so hard to categorise or define this development that it could justifiably be described as a revolution in the making. This has occurred in the context of government enquiries into class actions and litigation funding in Australia, the occasional headline accusing litigation funders and law firms of profiteering and the predictable posturings by stakeholders. Regulating litigation funders within a financial services regime is […]

The incredible revenue resilience of small legal practices

We have data! Unfortunately it is US data. However, information from various Australian sources confirms a likely similar experience for small Australian law firms through the recent economic turmoil. The US data comes from practice management software company Clio. It has used anonymised data of file openings and billings from users of Clio software.  What the Clio data shows File openings (new matter creation) reached a low point in mid April 2020 when it was 33% below the baseline established in the first five weeks of 2020. Billings volumes were down in May 2020 by 25% compared to May 2019 […]

The big 4 shedding jobs – big law next?

Deloitte 22 June 2020: Deloitte lays off 7 per cent of its 10,000 Australian workforce. Consulting and Advisory are the hardest hit. External Audit spared from cuts. PwC 17 June 2020: PwC lays off 400 employees in the financial advisory, consulting and support sectors of the business, representing approximately 5 per cent of its Australian workforce. EY 14 April 2020: EY cuts partner and staff hours by at least 20pc KPMG 2 April 2020: KPMG lays off 200 staff of its 9,000 Australian workforce. Consulting and Advisory hardest hit The big 4 employed 30,000 people across Australia. The areas of […]

Government plans to raise the cost of a law degree by 28 per cent

Law Council President, Pauline Wright’s statement on the rising costs of law degrees While the lower fees announced by the government for STEM subjects will be greatly appreciated – especially by those with inclination and talents in those fields, the Law Council finds it disappointing to hear that the government has moved to raise the cost of a law degree by 28 per cent. This will be a severe impediment for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds – and will add another barrier to those who are underrepresented in the legal profession, including those from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, who […]