Pitcher Partners 2020 legal survey
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Pitcher Partners 2020 legal survey

Pitcher Partners recently conducted its sixth annual survey of legal firms and partners in Australia and New Zealand

The survey is designed to identify key trends, risks and challenges in the legal sector, and analyse how these factors impact culture, reputation and profitability.

The purpose of the survey is to assist those in the legal sector to make evidence-based decisions when it comes to their strategy, practices and processes.

Survey highlights

This year’s survey revealed a gap between expectations and reality – specifically, as they relate to legal firm partners and the wider firm. Key findings included:

  • State of the market: It’s long been acknowledged that a culture of long hours and fast turnarounds in the legal sector has come at the expense of work-life balance. But work-life balance, workplace culture and conditions have been in the spotlight in Australia recently, particularly when it comes to workload pressures for junior lawyers. Read more
  • Culture: A firm’s culture plays an important role in the success of a legal practice, however, only 43% of firms actively review cultural issues on a regular basis. Further, 54% of firms believe that the main driver for culture within a firm is the current partner group. Read more
  • Technology: This year’s survey revealed a jump in the number of firms using technology to improve operations, with an increasing number of legal firms formally tracking referrals, financial performance, customer experience and productivity. Read more
  • Financial management: Findings reveal legal firms are experiencing increasing pressure on fees and profit due to global market conditions, growing professional indemnity costs and increased regulation and technology issues including cybersecurity. Read more
  • People, remuneration and retention: this year’s survey sought views on a range of factors including equity and retention, remuneration, gender and more, revealing rising risks for firms. Read more
  • Structure and governance: Compliance obligations of legal firms continue to increase with the structure and governance of practices becoming more important. Taxation and stamp duty consequences remain the main impediment to changing existing structures, with findings showing new firms favoured a corporate model from the outset. Read more
This content is general commentary only and does not constitute advice. Before making any decision or taking any action in relation to the content, you should consult your professional advisor. To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither Pitcher Partners or its affiliated entities, nor any of our employees will be liable for any loss, damage, liability or claim whatsoever suffered or incurred arising directly or indirectly out of the use or reliance on the material contained in this content. Pitcher Partners is an association of independent firms. Pitcher Partners is a member of the global network of Baker Tilly International Limited, the members of which are separate and independent legal entities. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.
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