Joining forces is one of the key strategies of a modern day law firm. Being larger can allow you to have critical mass in key business areas, increase your geographic spread and give economies of scale in support costs. But it seems that mergers may be the only option in an oversaturated market.
According to BDO, change in the Scottish Legal market is imminent: Firms will have to merge in response to a legal market with too many law firms and too many lawyers. Law firms may in fact be left with the choice to either merge or fail.
In 2015 82% of firms recruited additional staff and 35% of those increased their headcount by over 5%. Nine out of ten firms reported that they will be recruiting more staff in the next 12 months. Martin Gill, (head BDO LLP Scotland), commented: 'These figures reveal a legal sector which is remarkably optimistic and seems to have bounced back from the recession with some force. However, countering this optimism remains the view that the market is saturated, with 69% of firms believing that there are simply too many lawyers and too many law firms in Scotland.’ Gill added: ' mergers and failures are the likely outcomes in the coming year. The Scottish market has changed over the last few years and adopted more business-oriented and realistic approaches to operating law firms, but there may still be some way to go.’