At the debate I recently attended on future of law-type stuff everything was proceeding to plan. Once the panel finished on artificial intelligence (AI), the law firm model and partners being useless, conversation turned to the Big Four. You know the gist: HERE THEY COME – GLOBAL – SLICK – WAY-AHEAD-OF-LAW-FIRMS.
Of course, the case that these professional service giants with superb boardroom access and resources way beyond the largest law firms should become leaders in law sounds persuasive. And yet discussion of the Big Four still gives so little weight to the plain fact that, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, they have been at this for more than 20 years and have yet to get anywhere near justifying the hype. The only conclusion can be that there is something fundamental to their approach and models that frustrates their progress.