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The fable of the boiling frog

Partners in legal aid firms are feeling the heat but, thanks to the government, can’t get out of the simmering pot, explains Steve Billot

22 September 2017

It is said that if you put a frog into a pan of boiling water it will quickly jump out. But if you place one in a pan of tepid water and turn up the heat the frog will just stay there and boil. This is not something I have ever witnessed or would encourage, and in fact it seems untrue, but it is an often used allegory to explain why people and organisations do not react to slowly changing circumstances until it is too late.

It’s ten years since the Legal Services Act started the journey to change the way legal services are delivered and many commentators had expected fundamental change to have happened by now. We have seen change with some mid-market consolidation; a few new entrants have arrived, and some of those have already failed.

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