A recent legal press article looked at the impact which challenger firms are having on the Australian legal market.

The article, by Lawyers Weekly, provides:

Even just a few years ago, Mr Beaton [of research and consulting firm, beaton] mused, there was little to no awareness for or consideration of NewLaw business models by legal departments. Now, however, there is awareness and commensurate consideration of more than 30 per cent across the board, he said”.

“…Likewise, the surveys of managing partners of larger corporate and commercial firms we undertake on behalf of CommBank show an increasing sense of threat from the newcomers, he said.”

Keypoint Law’s CEO Warren Kalinko is quoted as saying:

… The past five to 10 years [have] seen a significant shift of partners to challenger firms,” …  “Those partners have brought credibility and expertise to the newer players, and trust has been established. It’s that trust which underpins the ongoing success and market impact which the new players are having.”

The article provides further:

Mr Kalinko … observed that some of these firms are not new at all, but have been “tried and tested” over the past decade and are making a real impact in the marketplace.

“They’ve attracted fabulous partners, which in turn has given corporate counsel options. It has resulted in a significant shift of legal work away from traditional providers,” he said.”

In reply to the question of:

When a corporate appoints a challenger firm to their legal panel, does that have any impact or implication for the panel as a whole..”,

Mr Kalinko’s response was that a ‘switch of 5% impacts 100%’:

The allocation of 5 per cent of panel spend to a challenger, impacts 100 per cent of panel spend because it invariably results in the incumbent firms sharpening their pencils,” he proclaimed.

The full article can be accessed here.