Law firm network

A law firm network (law firm association or legal network) is a membership organisation consisting of independent law firms. These networks are one type of professional services networks similar to networks found in the accounting profession. The common purpose is to expand the resources available to each member for providing services to their clients. Prominent primarily law firm networks include Alliott Group, Lex Mundi, WSG - World Services Group (multidisciplinary), TerraLex, Meritas (law), Multilaw , The Network of Trial Law Firms, Inc., the State Capital Group, and Pacific Rim Advisory Council. The largest networks have more than 10,000 attorneys located in hundreds of offices worldwide.

The firms who are part of the networks may be formally or informally linked to one another depending upon the purpose of the network.

There are two different reasons for networks developing in the legal profession. The first reason is internationalization which became globalization in the 1990s. Law firms simply needed international connections. The second reason is expansion of a number of large United States firms to become “national”. Smaller firms or firms with a niche practice requested expertise from these networks.

The internationalization of the legal profession began later than that of the accounting profession. Unlike accounting firms which conducted worldwide audits, law firms in each country were able to deal with national client matters. This changed in 1949, when Baker & McKenzie began to expand to non-United States markets to assist U.S. clients that were expanding overseas following WWII.

Internationalization was slow, because the legal profession was more restrictive than accounting in allowing foreign firms to enter and practice other countries. One of the requirements is that the names of the partners should be present in the name of the firm.

In the late 1980s. U.S. and English firms began establishing branches in the primary commercial centers. This new competition in local markets had the immediate effect of forcing local firms to evaluate alternative ways of providing services to their international clients.

This page was last edited on 5 April 2018, at 03:11.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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