It is hard to believe that we are now more than six months into our merger but I am pleased to report that the creation of the new firm has been very positively received by our clients and contacts who have welcomed the depth and breadth of our combined services and our renewed focus on delivery of excellent service and relationship building.
The merger has also left us in a very strong position to deal with the unprecedented developments within the wider UK legal sector, namely the launch of Alternative Business Structures (ABSs), where an organisation providing legal services can be part-owned or managed by a non-lawyer or non-legal organisation. Take up of this opportunity has been slower than expected partly due no doubt to the natural caution of lawyers and partly because we are all feeling our way carefully through the implications which these changes will bring.
I expect that, at least initially, ABSs will concentrate on personal injury and the “commoditised” end of the private client market. I have no doubt that the kind of propositions these organisations offer will appeal to some consumers. However, I also believe that our service led strategy which delivers quality bespoke advice is not only sufficiently robust to counter any potential challenge from fixed-price commoditised offerings, but also provides the kind of service and advice which will be attractive to those who have a different view of the importance of their legal issues to them.
The legal world is changing and while we may have different assessments of what those changes will look like in the future, I think we can all agree that the legal profession will become fundamentally different over the next few years.