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Businessman With TelescopeBob Ambrogi, who is one of the most astute and grounded influencers in the legal profession, published a must-read piece on “Why EY’s Purchase of Pangea3 Should Be A Wake-Up Call for Law Firms” in Above the Law (April 8, 2019). Bob succeeds in pulling together theory and practice so that he can translate for traditional practitioners how the Big Four and other ALSPs or law companies will impact and potentially dominate the legal services marketplace.

It’s terrific. Except for one thing.

Bob’s focus is on law firms and how they can prepare to compete in a disrupted marketplace of legal service provision. He doesn’t address the other critical constituency in this conversation: corporate law departments.

In terms of their future value to clients, law departments and law firms are similarly plagued.

Every concern Bob raises about the dangers of law firm complacency is equally applicable to law departments. The sage adage, “clients don’t have legal problems, they have business problems,” applies to both inside and outside legal teams, and both have difficulty moving from traditional legal practices toward business models and operational tactics that help them deliver the services that business clients value in a business-like fashion. As a result, both firms and departments are waaaaaaay behind when compared to our competitors in the Big Four and the ALSP marketplace which are offering corporate clients results-oriented, operationally-efficient business services.

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