Legal Cost Specialists

New legal costs businesses

By on Apr 8, 2011 | 8 comments

Gibbs Wyatt Stone has just celebrated its fifth anniversary. (During that time GWS has gone from strength-to-strength … blah, blah, blah … growing reputation … blah, blah, blah … ever growing list of important clients … blah, blah, blah.)

Traditional wisdom is that the first year for any new business is the most difficult, and the period during which most fail, but if a business can reach the five years mark then it has very good prospects for the long term.

However, with recent announcements, I suspect the next five years are going to be just as “challenging” as the first five.

Interestingly, despite Jackson casting his shadow over the costs world, the last couple of years seem to have seen a very high level of new start-up costs ventures. Why should that be? Has it been wishful thinking that Jackson would not happen? Has it been an acknowledgment that Jackson would happen, the gravy train was about to end, but a hope to make as much money as possible before the end, with self-employment seen as the best opportunity? Has it been an acknowledgment that some firms were unlikely to survive – and would certainly not be continuing to pay generous wages before the end – and decisions have been taken to jump (into self-employment) before being pushed being pushed (into unemployment) in the hope of carving out a niche in the market ahead of Jackson implementation?

I’d be interested to hear readers’ views, although for once I think we’d all understand if these were anonymous.

    8 Comments

  1. No comments yet – now there is a surprise!

    TB

    8th April 2011

  2. conversely, might there be a shift to working in-house so as not to take avoid personal risk on the same level and to chase the multi-track stuff at the right firms and other work that will hopefully survive in some form?

    roots manoova

    8th April 2011

  3. I think there has been movement both ways. Some solicitors outsourcing when they previously maintained in-house staff. Some independents seeking a perceived safe haven with those solicitors who remain committed to in-house. Some larger independents losing staff who set up on their own.

    Andy Ellis

    8th April 2011

  4. Why dont you start a new topic where we can all have a heated debate, rip each other to shreds and all come out of it looking thoroughly unprofessional? I ghave to say it would make this Friday afternoon go much easier…

    (Editor’s Note: Not the Ben Pitts from BPW Legal Recruitment)

    Ben Pitts

    8th April 2011

  5. If you could spell ‘have’ Ben, we might. As it stands, looks like no “big wig” (Masters, Kain Knight, Cost Advocates, Just Costs, Compass) has big enough Cojones to comment!

    TB

    8th April 2011

  6. have

    (Editor’s Note: Not the Ben Pitts from BPW Legal Recruitment)

    Ben Pitts

    8th April 2011

  7. Hmmmm ….. I can’t be doing with ‘anonymous’ – and am not sure about the phrase ‘gravy train’ either! As the owner of a smaller firm I’ve been working hard over the last couple of years to position us for the post-Jackson world – it’s going to be a very different one and time will tell whether we have succeeded or not.

    As I’ve said previously, I am an eternal optimist and believe that there are as many – if not more – opportunities out there for those who ‘know their stuff’ and can give clients what they are going to need. I would have thought that the larger firms in particular should be in a good position to be the outsourcer of choice for the new ABS structures and therefore(assuming that the firm in question has also prepared) it would seem precipitate for their employees to ‘jump ship’ to set up on their own. Life WILL become difficult and, in time, may become impossible for one-man bands or very small ‘traditional’ businesses (both solicitors and costs firms); it is they who are likely to be the main ‘losers’ from the reforms.

    Sue Nash

    10th April 2011

  8. Yet again, the national lottery hand sized wooden spoon is wielded from the ivory tower.

    It just comes across as smarmy and condescending and it is unnecessary.

    I’d imagine you didn’t mean to patronise (that means talk down to) anyone..?

    Anonymous

    11th April 2011

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