11:48 PM 2/1/2021

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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL - The Thomson Reuters Q4 2020 Peer Monitor Index is out this morning and the report tells a feel-good story few might have anticipated last March, when business stopped being conducted in offices and started being conducted next to laundry baskets. The index, a composite of factors affecting law firm profitability, such as demand, rates, productivity and expenses, reached its highest mark in a decade and a half. According to Law.com’s Andrew Maloney, the report says aggressive cost-cutting and “sky-high” worked rates in the final months of last year helped create a legal services market that, to start 2021, is the healthiest it’s been in years. (On a less sunny note, however, the report does say associates began to bear the brunt of cuts toward the end of 2020). Meanwhile, the Wells Fargo Private Bank Legal Specialty Group recently found in its own survey that firms anticipate an average revenue growth of 3.5% in 2021, with the highest-performing firms expecting something more like 5.7%.

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