Corporate trend to boutique and highly specialized law firms; could same trend be true for forensic and eDiscovery service providers?

deweyHarvard Business Review recently reported that corporate preferences might be shifting in the direction of highly specialized boutique-styled law firms. This would essentially be characterized by major enterprises saying “goodbye” to massive law firms that employ hundreds of thousands of attorneys in hundreds of nations and even on the moon.

The news provider referred to these entities as “Pedigreed Firms” or “white shoe firms” which seem to be falling out of favor among corporations’ general counsel. One study from General Counsel actually revealed nearly three-quarters of these in-house professionals would prefer boutique-style firms for certain occasions and projects, the source noted.

This is a trend that has been intensifying in virtually every sector, as specialized units that are as agile as they are unique are gobbling up market shares because of a shift in preference. According to Harvard Business Review, some would argue that the current and forecast future of the legal industry demand firms that can be flexible enough to make adjustments and keep up with evolving demand.  When it comes to specialized services and agility, the little guy is far more prepared and poised to take on novel tasks than their gigantic counterparts.

Against all odds;

While this changing of the guards seems to be gaining traction in the legal industry, the question is will this trend begin to impact the eDiscovery industry? Many corporations and the law firms they employ will sometimes utilize blue chip, publicly traded eDiscovery firms that employ hundreds or thousands of employees in hundreds of countries.  This high overhead needs to be passed along to someone.  Maybe it’s about time for that change, where all corporations and law firms begin to realize that there are better, more specialized services available at highly specialized eDiscovery firms, and thus more value.

As organizations continue to shift their focuses toward specialized markets to remain competitive amid increased saturation, boutique service providers will likely become more popular in a variety of industries. Additionally, with the rapid evolution of corporate litigation demands, specialized, boutique eDiscovery firms will thrive with enhanced accuracy, efficiency and specialization.

Sources:

http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/10/why-law-firm-pedigree-may-be-a-thing-of-the-past/

picture source http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business/2012/05/too-big-work-dewey-and-leboeuf-bankruptcy-sets-records/52886/

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