Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Following up on yesterday's post, WSJ: Smaller Law Firms Grab Bigger Slice of Corporate Legal Work: LexisNexis, The Rise of "Large Enough" Law Firms:
“Large Enough” law firms are eating into market share of the “Largest 50.”
Among firms with 201-500 lawyers, referred to as “Large Enough” firms in this report, the share of U.S.
legal fees paid by clients has grown from 18% three years ago (July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010) to 22% in the
trailing 12 months that ended June 30, 2013. Simultaneously, the share of U.S. legal fees paid by clients to
firms with more than 750 lawyers, the “Largest 50,” has gone in the opposite direction – dropping from
26% to 20% over the same period.
Even more dramatic shift in higher fee legal work.
The shift in legal work from the “Largest 50” firms (> 750 lawyers) to the “Large Enough” (201-500
lawyers) category is far more dramatic when examining specific categories of matters. “Large Enough”
firms have almost doubled the share of high fee litigation matters – those matters generating outside
counsel fees totaling $1 million or more (High Fee Work). “Large Enough” firms grew their portion of U.S.
High Fee Work from 22% three years ago to 41% in the trailing 12 months.