This new report from BigHand is consistent with what we've seen in the market and heard from our customers over the past few months. Not only are law firms being asked to prepare for a mass exodus of support staff, "The statistics demonstrate that 49% of law firms are expecting to lose between 20 and 40% of their support staff over the next five years," but firms are also facing increasing pressure to ensure the right work is being delivered by the right team for the right price. "BigHand’s group marketing director Briana McCrory added: 'The statistics really emphasised that: 69% of respondents said they are getting pressure to demonstrate who is doing their work, which is really high.'"
Over the last several years, we've been working with law firms across the globe to solve these exact problems, including leveraging our proprietary technology, Manage Requests, to ensure the right work is allocated to the right team; developing "Cloud Law Firms" by shifting the operational day-to-day work in Finance, IT, HR, and Word Processing to low-cost locations such as India or the Philippines; and developing Centres of Excellence where we manage routine, repeatable legal services work for law firms. Find out more about the work we've done in partnership with Reed Smith in my Elevate.Together.Podcast. conversation with Gareth Hughes, Director of Strategy at Reed Smith.
The report suggests that a drop in the number of support staff, plus a lack of clarity over how fee-earners should allocate work remotely, is impacting on the billable hour, as fee-earners take on more low-level administrative work themselves.