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Eversheds Study Details ‘The Client’s Revolution’
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A study commissioned by international firm Eversheds reveals 78 percent of general counsel and law firm partners around the world believe the recession will have a lasting impact on the profession and that “value and efficiency are now the non-negotiable attributes a client looks for in a partner.”

The report, ‘Law firm of the 21st century – The Clients’ Revolution,’ warns a major power shift is underway that favors in-house counsel over outside law firms. In addition to the recession, other factors driving the power shift, according to the study, are globalization along with the increased status and professionalism of in-house lawyers. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of general counsel said they now occupied a far more senior commercial advisory role in their companies compared to before the recession and 55 percent are assuming more responsibility for corporate governance.

Bryan Hughes, chief executive at Eversheds, commented on the findings in a press release.

  
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“As well as globalization and the increased use of technology to deliver efficiency, the key change is the shift in power to the client, which is largely due to in-house counsel taking a more important commercial role within their companies,” Hughes said.  “This will prove to be a real shake down for the legal sector and its workings, and law firms will need to really to prove their worth as in house teams expand their expertise.”

The report also tracks what it calls “the demise of the hourly rate.”According to the study, 63 percent of clients reported seeing better value for their money since the recession started.

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