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Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick talks to The Lawyer ahead of this year’s Business Leadership Summit in association with Propero Partners, which focuses on the law firm of 2025.
Are there going to be fewer jobs in the legal market in 2025?
The demand to advise clients on an increasingly complex, global, more regulated world just keeps on growing with new laws and regulations such as those flowing from Brexit means that the demand for legal services continues to rise. So there should continue to be growth in the UK legal market even though the advances of technology does mean the mix of those jobs will change with the lower level more commoditised work being undertaken by machines and automation.
Will flexibility around real estate lead to a more diverse workforce and better client experience?
Certainly the days of cellular offices are over. The more flexible use of space means that firms are able to embrace more open working which has huge benefits and in return invest in systems that enable lawyers and business support to work any time and from any place. With more people working remotely and from home it becomes easier for people to work for law firms on a part time and home working basis which is good for enabling people who can’t commit to traditional working hours and to working in City centres.
How many of your 2025 equity partners will be lawyers?
The rise of non-lawyers carrying out more and more key roles in law firms is unstoppable. I would like to see more non-lawyers become partners and this happens in many UK law firms that do not have overseas offices. However, for those firms like us that have integrated partnerships in different European capitals we face problems with non-lawyer partners as they can breach local bar laws. If local bars modernise and adopt the UK more forward thinking approach, I think we could have 25 per cent non-lawyers as equity partners in 2015.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I never lie.
- I hate answering these questions.
- I have met Bill Gates.
If you had not decided to become a lawyer, what career would you have chosen?
Airline pilot – I never lose the thrill of seeing huge jets take off and land.
With agile working becoming the norm, which spot in the world would you most like to work from?
I think agile work is a wonderful thing but what I do is about the people and clients so I need to be working in a Fieldfisher office not on a paradise island. Out of our offices it’s a touch call between our new Venice office and our Californian office.
Michael will be speaking at this year’s Business Leadership Summit on a panel discussion exploring property portfolio strategies and how to get them right. For more information on the summit, a copy of the agenda, or to enquire about tickets to attend, please contact Kenan Balli on +44(0) 20 7970 4017 or email@example.com
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