NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Law Firm Group at Citi Private Bank and Hildebrandt Consulting today released their 2018 Citi Hildebrandt Client Advisory.
The Citi Hildebrandt Client Advisory establishes the broad landscape for the law firm industry, how firms are responding to industry challenges, and their best opportunities for growth in 2018. The report forecasts overall industry revenue and profitability growth rates in 2018 to be in line with the mid-single-digit range expected for 2017, with continued high levels of dispersion and volatility.
The 2018 Client Advisory strongly indicates that the way firms adapt their talent models in response to market pressures for more efficient legal services, and the onslaught of equity partner retirements likely to occur in coming years, will be an important factor in the growth trajectory and sustainability of law firms across the industry.
“There is no doubt that the market will continue to favor firms with a strong brand in specific practice areas and industries. Beyond maintaining a strong brand, success in this market will likely come to firms who are most nimble in their response to client demands for a more efficient delivery of legal services. In the long-term, success will likely come to firms who adjust their talent models to market forces and who focus on building a robust growth model that attracts, develops, and retains the best legal talent,” said Gretta Rusanow, Head of Advisory Services, Law Firm Group at Citi Private Bank.
An additional key finding from this year’s Client Advisory is the ever increasing role of technology. Citi’s Law Firm Group concludes that technology, including AI, will help reshape the law firm industry. Hildebrandt Consulting also concurs that while the possibility of a cybersecurity breach (and the associated reputational and financial risks) has rapidly become one of the biggest concerns of law firms today, firms who harness the emerging technologies and who focus on protecting their clients and themselves from cybersecurity breaches will be even stronger in the future.
Brad Hildebrandt, Chairman of Hildebrandt Consulting, added, “Despite the challenges outlined in this Client Advisory, we believe that the law firm industry will continue to grow, albeit modestly. It remains one of the most profitable personal services businesses in the world. That said, we expect to see further consolidation and some law firm dissolutions as weaker firms lose their ability to compete.”
The 2018 Citi Hildebrandt Client Advisory draws from data collected from a sampling of primarily US-headquartered law firms by Citi Private Bank. For firms headquartered outside the US and third-party providers of legal services, the information is mostly anecdotal. For third-party providers of legal services, our information is mostly anecdotal. Sources include the “Citi Annual Survey Database” of 193 US-headquartered firms, including 44 Am Law 1-50 firms, 34 Am Law 51-100 firms, 47 Am Law 2nd 100 firms, and 68 additional firms; the “Citi Flash Survey”, including 40 Am Law 1-50 firms, 29 Am Law 51-100 firms, 47 Am Law 2nd 100 firms and 45 additional firms; the “Citi Law Firm Leaders Survey” of 55 large firms headquartered in the US, UK, Australia, China and India; and the “Law Firm Leaders Confidence Index,” which reports the forward-looking opinions of law firm leaders from 154 US-headquartered firms.
Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group provides financial services to more than 650 U.S. and U.K. law firms and more than 38,000 individual lawyers, with over 200 professionals and local service teams in 14 offices. Each quarter, the Law Firm Group confidentially surveys firms in The Am Law 100 and Second Hundred, along with smaller firms. The group additionally conducts a more detailed annual survey. These reports, together with extensive discussions with law firm management conducted on an ongoing basis, provide a comprehensive overview of financial trends in the industry and insight into where it is headed.
Citi Private Bank is dedicated to serving worldly and wealthy individuals and families, providing customized private banking across borders. With approximately $390 billion in global assets under management, the franchise includes 48 offices, serving clients across 130 countries. Citi Private Bank helps clients grow and preserve wealth, finance assets, make cash work harder, preserve legacies, and serve family and family business needs. The firm offers clients products and services covering capital markets, managed investments, portfolio management, trust and estate planning, investment finance, banking and aircraft finance, as well as art and sports advisory and finance.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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About Hildebrandt Consulting
Hildebrandt Consulting is continuing its long and distinguished history as the preeminent global consulting firm in the legal profession. With clients in over 15 countries, Hildebrandt has built up unmatched expertise in every aspect of professional firm management. Our reputation for helping firms arrive at strategic solutions comes from our knowledge of the interdependent elements that contribute to overall business performance.