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Is independent lawyering under siege?

“Leon Fernando Del Canto published an article in The Barrister magazine’s Easter Term 2021 edition, entitled “Is independent lawyering under siege?” In the piece, Leon examines the rise of big law firms and the impact this is having on the social representations of how ‘an independent lawyer’ is perceived, not only among the general public, but within the legal profession itself.”

“The rise of big law firms is having a significant impact, not only on the social representations of how ‘an independent lawyer’ is perceived among the general public, but within the legal profession itself. Is independent lawyering under siege?

The Firm

The Big law firm paradigm, the Firm, born in the USA after the IIWW, had a great impact on the way independent lawyering was practiced in the UK, favouring collective models such as the partnership or the modern legal “corporations”. But the Firm´s paradigm also changed the particular image of what an
independent lawyer is, does and looks like. The time has come to question whether the model that the
Firm has brought with it and the image of lawyering that has been created in the public imagination is a fair representation of the legal profession across the board or whether it is skewed in favour of an unrepresentative minority.

The big firms´ model is the predominant model, at least financially. Their figures do not pass unnoticed.
According to The Lawyer, the UK’s 100 largest firms generated a total revenue of £27.7bn in 2019/20, and this is the lowest year-on-year increase in five”.

By León Fernando del Canto, Head of Chambers, Barrister and Spanish abogado at Del Canto Chambers

You can read the full article in the original publication at the Barrister, pages 30-31.

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