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Feeling confident? Your colleagues agree.

Posted by: Laurence Simons 15/03/17

It’s going to be a good year for business according to law firm leaders. A report released in mid-January by Citi Private Bank’s law firm group, said many are predicting an increase in service demand (albeit slowly).

Around a third of the 153 firms surveyed are forecasting approximately a two percent growth in interest and a further 27 percent reportedly expecting to see demand increase by between two to five percent. 
As a result, 85 percent noted that they expect to see revenue rise, though any increase is likely to be minimal, with a 5 percent growth predicted by most leaders. 

Further indications from the survey suggest that net income confidence isn’t as high, potentially due to the expected reliance on associates in the coming months that will see expenses increase. This could be exacerbated by the predicted costs of infrastructure and cybersecurity which continue to plague many firms. 

In terms of staffing predictions, there’s a real variety of expectations. David Altuna, a senior vice president at Citi Private Bank, say firms are currently hiring a mix of fulltime project managers and pricing specialists, while others are choosing to train partners for these roles. 

Lawyer headcount is expected to grow, with much of the demand being filled by associates. Half of those surveyed also expect to increase overall partner headcount, while 42 percent are looking to hire non-equity partners. 
Interestingly, general confidence in the U.S. economy remains modest, with the global outlook down.

2017 looks set to be an interesting year for law firms, and the demand for associates will certainly see an uptick in people movements across the field. 

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