April 3, 2014

Peer Monitor Launches Mid-Size Law Firm Report

Firms seen facing challenges, opportunities competing against larger firms

EAGAN, Minn. – Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor has issued its inaugural Mid-Size Law Firm Report, analyzing the market for mid-size law firm services. The report says that mid-size firms did not perform as well as larger firms in 2013, and face unique opportunities and risks moving forward. Mid-size firms frequently offer greater value and cost-effectiveness to clients compared to larger firms, but may encounter greater headwinds by being more susceptible to disruptive changes that are sweeping the entire legal industry.  

Peer Monitor is the industry’s leading real-time benchmarking program for law firm performance. The Peer Monitor Economic Index Report (PMI) is the only composite index of law firm market performance using real-time data drawn from major law firms. The Mid-Size Law Firm Report examines the segment of the law firm market outside of the Am Law 200 with an average size of 142 lawyers. It is the only market analysis available that focuses specifically on mid-size law firms.

The new report states that demand for legal services for mid-size firms, as measured by billable hours, fell by 2.7 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year. Negotiated rates for clients grew by 2.1 percent last year, while fees worked, or billings, fell by 0.7 percent.  All of these measures were markedly weaker than those of larger firms over the same time period.  

“Mid-size firms face unique challenges in a difficult market environment,” said Mark Medice, senior director, Peer Monitor. “While many clients are seeking to move ‘down-market’ to find more cost-effective legal services, mid-size firms must constantly prove that they have sufficient expertise, experience and resources to handle the types of matters that the clients are looking for. However, mid-size firms may be able to provide greater flexibility than larger firms in meeting clients’ needs, and those that are willing to adopt new service delivery models may be in a position to gain market share in an increasingly competitive market.”

For more information about Peer Monitor and to download a copy of the Peer Monitor Mid-Size Law Firm Report report, visit http://peermonitor.thomsonreuters.com.

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