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Increasing demands root law firm partners to their desks

Senior staff now work 720 hours-a-week more than the average person working a 40-hour week

25 January 2016

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Partners at law firms are working over 55 hours-a-week as they face increasing pressures to bring in more fees. 

This internal pressure has coincided with the availability of more work than at any point since the financial crisis of 2008, giving them even less reason to stop working, research from legal and compliance recruiter Laurence Simons has shown.

The recruiter carried out the same research in 2013, which showed that partners were working an average of 50.2 hours. Despite this, 46 per cent of respondents to this years' survey said that working longer hours is not essential to success.

Clare Butler, Laurence Simons global managing director, believes that although a stronger economy has created a greater level of work, the threat posed by new Alternative Business Structure (ABS) entities have played a part in law firm's working to consolidate their position.

'Law firms have been well placed to take advantage of the greater demand for legal services that increased business activity has given rise to, which has provided partners with plenty of work.

'New business opportunities are ripe for the picking but lawyers will also be looking over their shoulders since the Legal Services Act, which has opened up the sector to increased competition.'

She continued: 'The senior players at law firms are having to fend off competition from newly formed Big Four accountancy firm legal teams. Partners have been fighting back by nurturing current client relationships and seeking out new opportunities and will continue to do so.'

Deloitte's quarterly legal survey for the third quarter in 2015 revealed that revenues of the UK's 10 largest law firm's grew by six per cent, while those ranked from 11 to 25 only grew by two per cent.

This ongoing battle with the biggest firms has also contributed to partners now working 720 hours more than the average person working a 40-hour week, the survey adds.


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Legal services