75% of firms believe client demand is set to decline reveals legal survey of over 800 respondents

Chicago, October 3rd, 2023 - BigHand, a leading provider of legal technology solutions has today released its comprehensive research highlighting the current volatile state of talent and resource management for law firms globally.  

BigHand is releasing its latest market research on how firms are responding to pressures from clients and lawyers. Law firms have faced declining client demand for the past 12 months and the majority forecast this trend to continue. The pressure this has put on firms' profitability is being exacerbated by the increase in attrition and lateral hiring. The extensive study reveals employee turnover is a challenge as attitudes towards work have changed against a backdrop of hybrid working. 

The research conducted by BigHand is the most comprehensive of its kind, surveying a total of 825 responses from law firm leaders, operations teams, HR and resource managers or work allocation teams from firms of 50+ lawyers from North America and the UK.    The key findings from “Retaining Clients, Profit, and Lawyers with Proactive Talent Management” dive into how firms are responding to increased client and talent pressures and the different strategies they’ve adopted to safeguard profitability.  

The report is broken up into five insights which look at how firms are prioritizing client engagement and retention, safeguarding profit in a declining market, demonstrating diversity to meet client expectations and improving talent retention with career development.  It highlights a growing divide between firms still relying on traditional, often manual, models of resource allocation and those that have embraced intelligence-led resource management strategies. 

Key highlights from the research include:

  • 75% of firms confirm a drop in client demand over the last 12 months and believe it is set to decline further in the next 12 months 
  • 42% have seen an increase in attrition and lateral hiring at the partner level over the past 12 months and 49% have seen the same at the associate level
  • Over half of firms lack vital information about lawyer skills or capacity

The research explores how firms are mitigating profit erosion and addressing client retention, the impact of hybrid working, and the growing importance of insight-led DEI strategies. It explores the way firms are using dedicated technology and expertise to achieve effective and equitable work allocation and career development and offers actionable strategies for firms to enhance their competitive edge. 

Read BigHand’s latest research "Retaining Clients, Profit, and Lawyers with Proactive Talent Management” for more valuable insights by visiting the link here.

About BigHand Resource Management

BigHand Resource Management is a legal work allocation tool that allows law firms to identify resources, forecast utilisation, manage workloads and add structure to career development for lawyers. The solution delivers real-time visibility of team availability, improved profitability on matters and supports DEI goals and equitable allocation of work.

BigHand Resource Management