This is an incredibly interesting take on the legal market by Alex Novareae Editor in chief/in-house at Legalease. Agree on a number of areas: importance of AI within the legal market and as stated below the need for firms, especially mid-tier firms to focus on a proper BD/sales function.
Most firms leave BD/sales to the fee earners who not only are not trained to sale but they also do not have the time to sell.
In terms of NewLaw, this is a new market and as any new market, it needs time to develop and to find its legs. Some will succeed and if they do it will be because they have used technology and experience effectively which will give them the edge not only in delivery but also with pricing.
If I were running a mid-weight City law firm, I'd be investigating whether we can do something aggressive with a proper BD and sales function. Not a brochure squad – I mean a fully-fledged sales team. Backed by solid industry intelligence, that could be an operational edge and it's a relatively small investment. A related aspect is more aggressive projection of the brand. Part of it is being realistic about the markets in which you can be most effective (and least vulnerable) at your scale. Realistically – private equity, leverage finance and global investigations are not going to be great markets for mid-tier law firms, but there are plenty of areas that will.