At one point in our Regional Insight report – a major collaboration with our colleagues at The Legal 500 included with this issue of Legal Business – one GC based in the North West discusses a recent pitch in which a City law firm came out best on price against regional rivals. Surprising as it may seem, it is reflective of a dynamic that has seen London advisers focus on handling work from UK regions after realising that simply aspiring to be a City leader is a road to nowhere for many firms.
This shift in focus comes with the acknowledgement that post-Lehman, demand for external law firm services in the UK has become more polarised. The need for high-end transactional and disputes advice still exists but is increasingly now the preserve of the elite firms in those fields in London. At the opposite end, in-house teams are retaining more work and will only outsource work to law firms if it is cost effective.