oa De Rebus - How important is practice management? : practice management

Volume 2015, Issue 555
  • ISSN : 0250-0329



There can be no doubt that the global economic meltdown impacted everyone in one way or another. Law firms too have not escaped the impact. My experience tells me that the impact has been particularly harsh on the smaller firms and/or those firms that were and may still be dependent on one service activity. Statistics of the composition of South African professional law firms indicate that 90% of firms comprise four partners/directors or less. The larger firms are managed in a typical style as one would expect of a corporate entity with a multi-million rand turnover and an appropriate staff structure to support the size. This means that such firms have been able to absorb the economic decline and direct their activities accordingly. The smaller firms have not been able to do so because they have not had the foresight and/or the leadership structures to not only address the economic decline but continue to grow. The whole profession has experienced, and in many instances are still experiencing, what I refer to as 'the profit squeeze'.

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