Dentons, a massive law firm that was created in a three-way global merger a few years ago, is now going to get even bigger. It’s now the world’s biggest law firm, actually. Joining forces with a firm from China, Dentons’ latest move is yet another sign that law firms aren’t slowing down their growth at all. It’s the latest in a series of global legal mergers creating a new breed of law firms that are the size of small towns, and this isn’t the first major Chinese law firm to merge with a foreign firm (that would be the 2012 merger between Australia’s Mallesons Stephen Jacques and Hong Kong-based King & Wood), but it is the biggest so far. Another merger, another mammoth firm.
More people, more resources, more money, more profit. Right? Actually, not necessarily. And what does this have to do with software and legal technology anyway? Well, for one, none of this matters if you’re spending all the resources and money that you earn. Many large firms are still using dinosaur software that rely on servers, and require a heavy IT investment. Want to be a David to their Goliath? Use technology to be more efficient than them. That’s one way. With so many legal practice management (LPM) software options available, it’s not that hard to keep your realization rate at 90% or higher. According to the consultants at RJH Consulting, “if they’re not meeting that level, it’s possible the firm isn’t screening out prospects that can’t pay the bill. Or the bills could be going unpaid because of client dissatisfaction.”
As one of the silent killers of realization rate, client dissatisfaction is something that is actually easily alleviated with a good piece of LPM software. Getting to meetings on time, remembering deadlines, being communicative with your clients… these are just a few of the many ways that it can improve your firm’s service—and your clients’ experience. “Any full-service firm should be seeing a profit percentage of 40%,” says Henderson from RJH. Ideally, 50%. But we don’t live in a perfect world. The good news is that you don’t need to be in a big law firm to make big profits — you just need to be smart about it. So pick your LPM weapon and fire away. Dentons has got nothing on you.
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