Editor's Comment: State of the nation
What has gone wrong with the national/regional law firm model? The question is relevant because, as we alluded in our top 50 UK coverage last week, this band should be excelling now. In a market where big-ticket deal work is scarce and clients are bound to become more fee-sensitive, the theory goes that the cheaper cost base of the regional practices should shine through. Except, so far, it has done nothing of the sort, as firms from this band proved among the worst financial performers in 2007-08. To be fair, there are a number of forces that are particularly challenging for such firms. Key among these is the group's higher-than-average exposure to the property market and the preponderance of volume businesses currently taking a beating.
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