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Recent surveys show that COVID-19 has seen in-house legal departments cut spending on external lawyers. In-house teams allocate more work internally and, where external advice is needed, they successfully implement fee reductions, fixed-fee arrangements, and fee caps. More than ever, clients scrupulously examine the costs and benefits of engaging external counsel, who must, more than ever, prove their worth and added value.

While these challenges continue to mount for traditional firms, there is scope for an alternative approach. Based on collaboration and flexible structures, boutique law firms could be the solution for practitioners seeking a change, and for clients in need of a more dedicated service.

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