UK law firms are now under ‘sustained attack’ from accountancy firms and alternative service providers who can offer legal services in a more transparent, simplified and fixed-fee manner whilst delivering superior client satisfaction, according to the new whitepaper from UK managed IT service provider, Prism. Two-thirds of law firms are “concerned” about the threat posed by accounting firms and others. Meanwhile, 45% consider them to be a “major threat”, according to Prism’s whitepaper.

It has been estimated that the Big Four – Deloitte, PWC, KPMG and EY – could draw annual revenue of £23.5 billion from legal services (ALM Intelligence, Elephant in the Room Part I: The Big Four’s Expansion In Legal Services).  PWC, for example, currently has 3,600 lawyers (FT, Nov 2018). The UK's Legal Services Act 2007 has paved the way for the ‘accountancy takeover’.

According to a Wolters Kluwer survey (2019) ‘Lawyer’s aren’t known to be tech-savvy’ and only 37% believe their organisation is ready to keep pace with changes in the legal market.

Law firms are up against enormous cost pressures as legal work becomes more commoditised and clients push for better deals. Prism’s paper points out: “To compete, law firms need a fresh approach to end-user productivity that enhances their corporate performance, and to deliver a more personalised client experience”. 

  According to Prism’s paper: “[Millennial’s] put a high value on customer experience and are only willing to hire for a fixed fee…It appears the competition have done the math and adopting tech adds up.”