By 2025, the center of gravity of the world's legal market will have shifted to Asia.
Our conservative projections are that the total value of legal services delivered to Asian clients in Asia will be roughly 45% to 55% of the total value of legal services worldwide. Moreover, the size of the Asian legal market will almost triple in the next ten years.
The Chinese international legal market will soon be the largest in the world. South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines are among the fastest growing legal markets in the world, and will continue to expand rapidly over the next 10 years.
We forecast an especially robust increase in trade, investment, and associated legal work between Asia and other dynamic regions, such as Latin America, Africa, and Russia.
The growth of the Asian legal markets, especially for outbound legal work from Asian companies and investors, is already touching almost every law firm, directly or indirectly. Asian law firms are considering how to protect their position in their home markets in the face of increased incursions by international law firms, as well as how to expand their presence intelligently and profitably into neighboring jurisdictions. Law firms outside the region -- regardless of their size and location -- are coming to realize the importance of Asia to their firms' futures, because Asia has become important to so many of their best clients.
Firms that deny that these trends exist, that pretend that they won't affect them, or that adopt a "wait and see" strategy will be passed by and left behind.
What is your firm going to do about it?
If your firm is going to take advantage of the opportunities that might be available in or from Asia, you need to act soon to secure the best competitve positions. These markets are huge, but not infinite. As with so many other opportunities in the markets for professional services, the early entrants can achieve experience, expertise, and competitive advantage that can be almost insurmountable.
We believe that the best opportunities can be achieved through collaboration between Asian law firms and firms from outside the region, not from direct competition.
Is there a realistic opportunity for your law firm?
The answer probably is yes.
But finding, defining, and taking advantage of that opportunity is the hard part.
Walker Clark guides and assists law firms worldwide to answer this question. We have special expertise and experience in the opportunities and challenges in the emerging investment and trade channels between Asia and Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Russia.
Whether your firm is based in Asia -- or your firm is São Paulo, St. Petersburg, New York, or somewhere in-between -- our Asia Strategy Review can help your firm to answer the tough questions, such as:
- What are our best opportunities, especially for inbound and outbound legal work?
- Where can we establish clear competitive advantages, even over some of the largest and best-financed law firms in the world?
- What are the risks and how should we manage them?
- What are the most important things that we should be doing in the next 12-24 months?
Don't wait until 2025 -- or even until 2017 -- to start planning how the forces that are shaping the Asian legal market will shape your firm's future. The first step to well-informed answers to these questions is to contact us for a confidential complementary discussion of your firm's opportunities and challenges in Asia.