- Michael Burne
Trends in Legal Services in 2022: How lawyers will be influenced and impacted
Watch out for these legal trends in 2022
It’s the beginning of a new year, which means it’s time for us to look ahead and consider what’s to come. For years, there have been calls to modernise the legal industry, with improved technology and increased flexibility. Whilst the pandemic has forced some of these changes upon the industry, many law firms have continued to drag their feet, awaiting the moment they can revert back to their traditional ways of working. That’s why we believe the overarching trend in the legal industry this year will be lawyers growing tired of being rooted in the past and finally turning their attention towards the future.
So, what will this mean for both the lawyers on the move and the firms they leave behind? Let’s find out.
1. The rise of the individual
The overarching legal trend will be the rise of the individual. After working from home for the past two years, the majority of lawyers will have gained more control over where, when and how they work. Having taken on the responsibility of planning their time and handling their clients, we expect that some lawyers will begin to think about what it would be like to work for themselves, instead of someone else. With the time, skills and expertise required to go it alone, we believe 2022 will be the year that lawyers realise their value and act on their potential.
2. The war for talent
Major forces are at play in the labour market for lawyers. Big firms are offering seductive and inflated pay packets to secure talent that are rippling outward into the market. But a “pound of flesh” is the exchange rate required for big salaries. Talk abounds of a ‘Great Resignation” of lawyers looking to start their own law brands or find better ways of earning a crust. All fuelling the war for talent will return. And so, we remind the individuals concerned that “the power is in their hands” and choice is everywhere.
3. The squeeze of sole practitioners
Lawyers who have started their own law brands and become sole practitioners are facing a number of obstacles. One of which will be securing professional indemnity insurance, where the market is particularly tough right now. As sole practitioners and small firms are considered especially high risk by insurers, these law firm owners will face a difficult road ahead. Many involved in conveyancing work will also struggle with membership of what are called “Lender Panels” that enable the solicitor to act for the buyer and their lender together. The SRA reports a 25% fall in recent years in the number of sole practitioner firms – a trend we expect to continue.
4. The risk of retiring
Unfortunately, it won’t just be those starting or running a law firm that run into issues. In 2022, we predict that retiring lawyers will find it more difficult to exit their firms. With the professional indemnity insurance market remaining particularly challenging, we will see an increase in the number of lawyers being forced to pay run-off cover, after failing to find a secure route to retirement. This will heighten the importance of preparing an exit plan, to avoid the expense and stress of run-off and to capitalise on a life’s work.
How lawyers can go against the trends
Unfortunately, many of the legal trends we expect to see in the coming year lead to challenging circumstances for lawyers. However, there is an alternative way for lawyers to go against the tide, to overcome the obstacles and reach their goals.
The Bamboo Platform is a law firm operating system that provides all lawyers with the support they need to navigate tough market conditions. For lawyers looking to start their own firm, Bamboo handles the regulation and insurance they require, removing challenges that could otherwise stand in their way. For lawyers looking to retire from their firms, Bamboo supports the operation of their practice and helps them prepare an exit plan, avoiding the risk of run-off cover and paving the way for a comfortable and risk-free retirement.
No matter what your goals are for the coming year, don’t let industry trends put you off. Instead, join the Bamboo Platform.