Business Confidence Returning to Top Tier Law Firms

The CommBank Legal Market Pulse survey reveals business confidence within the legal field is picking up and large firms are optimistic about the future, expecting the sector to perform strongly over the next 6 months.

“It’s good to see confidence is rising among Australia’s top-tier law firms, with the vast majority expecting business conditions to improve over the next two years”, remarked The Commonwealth Bank’s, National Manager of Professional Services, Marc Totaro.

32 law firms across Europe, Australia and Asia took part in The CommBank Legal Market Pulse, carried out by Beaton Research and Consulting. The results show Australia’s legal heavy-hitters are eager to grow their market share by taking advantage of the spike in global transactions (mergers and acquisitions).

The Q3 2015 Intralinks Deal Flow Predictor Report, a separate report by Intralinks, a global technology provider, forecasts that mergers and acquisitions within the Asia-Pacific region will keep rising in the coming 6 months. Australia enjoys the strongest merger and acquisition growth in the Asia-Pacific, along with New Zealand.

“2014 was a year of recovery in global M&A markets and 2015 has started strongly. Globally, we expect the first half of 2015 to show a mid-single digit increase in the volume of deal announcements compared to last year”, said Intralinks VP of Strategy and Product Marketing, Philip Whitchelo.

What Are Australian Law Firms Expecting from 2015?

An undercurrent of renewed hope is palpable within the Australian legal field as expectations of lowered interest rates, revenue growth, growth in legal jobs and an economic recovery take root amongst elite firms. Australia’s biggest players are anticipating higher revenues over the next 6 months with the most sector growth expected to happen in Brisbane and Canberra.

Large firms predict they will see the most revenue come from their insurance law, property law and employment law divisions. They are also aiming to spur on revenue growth by investing in business development and marketing initiatives.

Mid-tier firms on the other hand, don’t expect much growth until 2017.

Competition is fierce amongst firms, with the last quarter year seeing much poaching in the form of lateral hiring of partners and lawyers. Juniors and graduates on the other hand, are looking to catch a break as they are left on the sidelines being overlooked in favour of more experienced lawyers.

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