What Do Australian Law Firms Need to Pursue True Stardom?

The Australian legal industry has overcome ‘little fish’ syndrome and is now competitive on the world stage. However, despite this impressive step up, the shortage of time and challenges in attracting the right talent is what’s really holding Australian law firms back from achieving true excellence.

In a candid survey this July, we received feedback from 132 senior fee-earning legal practitioners from medium to large firms*. They told us, the things really holding them back from achieving true excellence in every business function, were the inability to:

A lack of budget and having staff armed with the necessary knowledge in legal IT systems and marketing were also commonly addressed barriers for Australian law firm’s progression and excellence.

Research also highlighted that there is a lack of process within firms. A staggering 49 per cent of firms noted they lacked any formal staff training program; 30 per cent never reviewed client satisfaction and 13 per cent never reviewed fee earner’s efficiency.

But it’s not all film noir. From our survey we were able to better understand what law firm best practice looks like, and how professionals strive for excellence. Areas firms consider themselves most effective in are:

  • Client servicing
  • Practice leadership
  • Financial management

Among other metrics, some of the top ones a firm measures their success on included the quality of their work, client retention and their niche practice and expertise.

James Boocock, general manager of legal solutions at Thomson Reuters Legal Australia, said: “The bullish attitude towards our legal market is encouraging, and rightly so. In Australia, we have an innovative and respected industry, carrying out world class work each and every day. However, we need to be realistic, and [this] survey identifie[d] some important issues, particularly around the challenges of finding the right people to take a business forward, and finding the time to do it. Clearly, to be truly competitive, these issues need addressing.

Award-winning Australian law firm, Coleman Greig, is a legal best practice trailblazer. We recently caught up with their general manager, Warrick McLean, to talk about how the firm achieved legal best practice and how they achieved it. Read the full article here.

Thomson Reuters Legal Australia: Lack of time and challenges of attracting the right talent holding law firms back from true excellence

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