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82% of small independent law firms described their business as either growing or stable, according to a new report commissioned by legal research group, LexisNexis.

Part one of The Bellwether Report – entitled ‘Brave New World’  – released today on the Business of Law blog, is a temperature check of the changing legal landscape and focuses on independent and sole practitioners.

Growth in the sector has been put down to very high levels of competition, forcing small firms to work harder and adapt.

Mark Kiteley, an independent practitioner, told Business of Law:

“The market has changed and we as lawyers have had to change. But the high street firm is thriving — people still want to come and see us in our offices and trust that much more than just online interaction.”

The survey found that two thirds of practitioners questioned had made changes to their business plan in the last year and that over three quarters believe that constant evolution is required for smaller firms to stay at the top of the market place.

Jonathan Whittle, Market Development Director at LexisNexis said:

“Being an independent practitioner and going it alone is hard work — which is why we set-up the Business of Law blog, to bring like-minded people together, to share ideas on how to thrive in this shifting legal landscape.

“We can see from the report’s findings that this sector are indeed encountering a Brave New World, and it is a new breed, a new generation of lawyers hungry for success that are driving this new world and driving industry change.”

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski