Citibank's Managing Partner Confidence Index Finds Positive Expectations for 2014
The Managing Partner Confidence Index by Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group found the market optimistic for the second quarter in a row in 2014. Leaders at large U.S. law firms expect to sail through the next year without too many barriers - and hopes are high that profits, revenue and demand for legal services would continue to be higher than in 2013.
The Managing Partner Confidence Index is published each quarter and surveys the expectations of managing partners about the economy and the legal profession through the next 12 months. Out of the 79 managing partners surveyed, 52 were from the 200 largest law firms in U.S., 23 were from niche firms and boutiques, and four were from UK - based law firms.
According to the report, 71 percent of law firm leaders expect profits to grow by 1 to 10 percent through next year and 80 percent of the respondents expect revenue to grow by similar margins. This is a big change in attitudes where leaders of most law firms had presented a gloomy outlook for at least three quarters in 2013.
While profits and revenue remain all-important, something more significant for everyone related with the legal services industries is that most law firm leaders expect demand for legal services to rise definitely, and at least two-thirds of managing partners of law firms surveyed feel the same. And may be to sustain those hopes of higher demands for services, the survey found that almost 97 percent of managing partners of law firms were ready to offer prevailing or extra discounts to their clients over the next year. And this is the almost unanimous opinion even keeping in mind that almost 61 percent of the managing partners surveyed expect expenses to grow between 1 and 10 percent.
The managing partners of law firms surveyed also indicated there was a greater demand for equity partners (up 2 points) while the demand for associates was largely stagnant and down by 1 point. Scores on the index are on a scale of 0-200, with 0-99 showing lack of confidence, 100 being neutral, and 101-200 expressing confidence. The score for hiring of equity partners was 114 and for associates it was 132.
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