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Below is the introduction of Barbarians at the Gate: The Invasion of Regional Legal Markets and How Mid-sized Firms Should Respond The full report is available on the ALM Intelligence website. 

Large law firms have spent the past two decades expanding into new markets at a tremendous pace. Since 2001, the United States’ largest 250 law firms by attorney headcount, known as the NLJ 250, have nearly doubled their geographic coverage – adding more than 1,400 new offices across the globe. This process has fundamentally changed the legal market in two important ways. First, it has created a group of law firms with vast scale and geographic reach. Equally important is the impact that expansion has had on local law firms. Many regional legal markets have been transformed over the past decade. They have transitioned from localized markets, dominated by legacy firms, to highly competitive marketplaces, fully integrated into the global legal services market.

The rate at which this transformation has taken place begs important questions. This is particularly true for regional firms whose clients and talent have been targeted by expanding firms. What impact has geographic expansion had on local firms whose markets are being “invaded”? Have those firms lost market share? Have they declined in profitability?

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Nicholas Bruch, Director, ALM Intelligence

Nicholas is a Director at ALM Legal Intelligence. He is ALM’s principle analyst for the legal market and is the Director of the ALM Intelligence Fellows Program. Nick’s research on the legal market is regularly featured in The American Lawyer and other industry leading media outlets. Nick also speaks extensively on the legal market, keynoting major industry events and speaking at partner retreats for large and mid-sized law firms. Prior to joining ALM Legal Intelligence, Nick was part of Huron Consulting’s Law Firm Strategy Practice in the firm’s New York and London offices. Nicholas’s experience includes advising law firms and law department in developing and developed markets on issues related to strategy, business development, market intelligence, and operations. Nick holds a Masters of International Business from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a BA in Economics and Philosophy from DePaul University.

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