The legal sector needs to focus on the challenges facing it and tackle them head on rather than burying its head in the sand according to the new president of Birmingham Law Society.
Mary Kaye, family law partner at SGH Martineau, believes the sector is no different to the rest of the business world as it navigates its way through tough times globally.
And Mrs Kaye said that firms should not feel threatened by Alternative Business Structures, the new legislation under the Legal Services Act allowing companies like the Co-op to enter the legal services market.
“These are tough times in the business world,” said Mrs Kaye. “The legal profession is not the only one that is changing but it is happening to every profession, teachers, accountants, police – other people, not just us.
“Irrespective of what people say we are in a global recession or at the very least facing continued global hard times. I hear about the green shoots but anyone with sound financial knowledge would know we could not get out of it so quickly and are not going to get out of it without tough love.
“We were all hit by this big tsunami of financial destruction and we are not going to get out of it easily.”
Mrs Kaye believes law firms, particularly smaller ones, will continue to face difficult times.
She said: “The reality for me is that the profession is going to have to get more efficient, if we don’t change a lot will fall by the wayside. We can as a profession be complacent.
“The climate is changing. We are in a new legal landscape, we have to face up to it and deal with it and those that deal with it will survive. We certainly can’t stay the same and those who adapt will survive. That might mean smaller firms changing, forming their own co-operatives.”