What’s Up For 2008?

Consulting firm Hildebrandt International has teamed up with Citi Private Bank to provide interesting predictions about the legal profession in 2008. You can download the report for free by clicking here. Basically, the message is that the legal profession continues to be very profitable; but 2008 may be a slower year of growth.

The authors compare 2008 to 2001 and note some differences. While corporate transactional work slowed in 2001, that slowdown was offset by a modest increase in litigation and bankruptcy along with regulatory work generated by Sarbanes-Oxley. But litigation and bankruptcy have remained slow practice areas in 2007 and are likely to be slow in 2008.

They observe that firms have thinned the ranks of equity partners, largely by increasing the numbers of income partners. The authors argue that firms might be better off in the long run by trimming the income partner ranks as things slow down (i.e. avoid resorting to deequitisation.) They recommend that firms move away from lock step compensation systems, increase geographic diversity and continue to control costs. It’s a good read and not too depressing. Hopefully their predictions will come true!

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