The most recent issue of  the British Legal publication The Lawyer, includes a series of articles which predict global and regional trends in the legal profession. This is a follow up to a 2008 article which attempted to predict the legal world of 2013. They provide a scorecard on their 2008 predictions.

For this issue, .The Lawyer again interviewed partners from all the leading UK law firms  who are quoted throughout the series of articles. The online  issue includes an in-depth video interviews with David Morley from Allen & Overy and Tony Angel from DLA Piper.

Here are some of the most startling predictions:

  • Seven more transatlantic mergers
  • The End of “the Magic Circle”
  • The disappearance of 25 of the top 100 firms by 2018
  • China will open it’s legal market in 10 years.
  • At least one firm will succumb to a cybersecurity attack
  • By 2023 there will be 3 global insurance firms
  • Women will still represent only 20% of UK partners.
  • Asian law firms will be represented in the Global top 10
  • One Swiss Verien will collapse
  • Five firms will have spectacular implosions.
  • Apprenticeships will increase pathways to the legal profession.

And of course there is the seemingly permanent prediction of the “end of the billable hour,” but I don’t think anyone is placing money on that bet.