Law firm consultant Kent Zimmermann of the Zeughauser Group said that partner layoffs at the largest law firms in the U.S. are quietly accelerating because of a lack of billable work coming in their doors. Legal process outsourcers (LPOs) and other alternative legal service providers are beginning to take the bread-and-butter of large law firms - handling whole mergers and acquisitions, according to Zimmermann. For smaller deals, clients are increasingly willing to hire LPOs rather than higher-cost traditional firms, he said. Additionally, as major law firms fear they won't be able to grow organically fast enough to meet their strategic goals, Zimmermann expects more major law firm mergers this year.
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