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by Vault Law Editors | October 09, 2008


Last month, David Morley, the worldwide senior partner at  Allen & Overy, played soothsayer for The Lawyer  Morley made some bold (and highly specific) predictions about the direction of the global legal industry.  Among them:

By 2013

• A seemingly unbridgeable gap has opened up between a global elite of six firms (A&O, Linklaters, Freshfields, CC, Skadden and Latham) and the rest based on scale, geographic reach and focus on high-end work. Other firms thrive and compete with different business models but these six are market leaders.

• Most of the global elite have developed captive legal outsourcing operations in South Africa, New Zealand, India or Australia, and other business methods for delivering high quality, lower cost work to very large relationship clients.

I would argue that these aren’t separate developments, but complementary aspects of a single, broader trend toward consolidation.  In any event, these predictions, if borne out, would be negative developments for those students at non-elite law schools who aspire to work for firms.

But perhaps these students can take solace in Morley’s obvious (in retrospect) shortcomings as a prognosticator. The piece was published on Friday September 12, 2008.  Nowhere does Morley predict “Lehman will file Chapter 11 on Monday!”

                                              -posted by brian

This is not a picture of A&O's David Morley



Filed Under: Law