Legal Business

The UK’s changing legal landscape

Fox Rodney’s Adrian Fox analyses UK legal market trends.

How have commercial dynamics in law firms changed?
I was practising in the mid-1980s when law firm commercial dynamics really changed – the time of the Big Bang. I remember having a more than slightly heated discussion with a then senior partner of my firm about whether a law firm’s purpose was to service its clients or make profits for the partners. He was from the old school and he had gone within 12 months.

What has most defined the legal landscape in the last 25 years?
The rise in prominence of US firms is the single most important feature that has defined the legal landscape over the last 25 years. When the majority started to open in London in the mid-1990s, they often set up in the West End (as near as possible to Lady Diana) and they also thought Brussels would be the next DC. It was quite quaint back then. How times have changed. Alongside this, the demise of lockstep has been a central theme.