Recap: Legal Services 2015 event a success

28 Sep 2015

Before Legal Services 2016, we take a look back at and summarise last years successful event. 

For more information about and request attendance to this years event visit:

Jepson Holt and Totuus Consulting were joined by Duff and Phelps and to present Legal Services 2015, a summit for law firms, their leaders, funders and advisers.

Taking place at the AJ Bell media centre at Lancashire County Cricket Ground, Old Trafford, Manchester on Thursday 27th November, the event was standing room only as the great and the good of the North West legal sector took their seats to listen to a top line up of speakers.

First up was Dr John Ashcroft, Chief Executive of ProManchester and economic adviser to Duff & Phelps, who provided an assessment of the UK economy with specific reference to where the Greater Manchester market fits. He was extremely positive about the economic outlook for Manchester and its role as the ‘second city’.

Steve Billot, managing director of Duff and Phelps restructuring team, then spoke about the regulatory, financial and insurance environment. In the last few years Steve has gained a reputation as one of the leading experts in working with challenged professional practices, so he was ideally placed to deliver an assessment of the impact of regulatory changes on the legal sector.

IMG_3646 (1)Our very own Phil Jepson then took to the stand to deliver a presentation on competition within the legal market and what it takes to succeed. With so many economic and regulatory changes affecting the sector, Phil stressed the importance of strategy and planning for legal firms to adapt and succeed in a turbulent, dynamic and competitive emerging market.

Finally, headline speaker David Pester, managing partner of TLT spoke about the experience of his company and the key decisions they’ve made over the last ten years in adapting to change and growing into new markets. Having recently opened a Manchester office, David explained the key drivers for opening an office in the area and how he sees the market developing.

The event was brought to close by Chris Barry, editor of with a Q&A session which was then  followed by post event networking.

 Video Interview with Keynote Speaker David Pester:

All video interviews with speakers, as well as some attendees can be found on the Jepson Holt Youtube Channel


Along with the event a survey gauging the legal market was put out, with interesting results. Here’s a summary: 

 The survey aimed to see how optimistic business leaders felt and what they saw as the challenges and opportunities from the year ahead (the year just been).

59% expected moderate growth in revenue with 26% expecting strong growth. The expectation was that head count would grow but not as much as revenue so clearly they feel there are productivity improvements to be had as they grow. 

It appears that the market expects much of the growth is going to come from merger activity. 36% thought that the rate of mergers would continue as it is now but 61.3% thought the pace of mergers would increase. This tallies with new speculation in the north west about a major merger discussion in progress.

Another interesting finding was the number of non lawyer managers in law firms and the openness to bringing in outsiders to lead law firms. 36% of firms had a non lawyer CEO and another 20.5% had a managing partner supported by a senior non lawyer manager. In addition to the 36% who have CEOs already a further 38.5% said they would consider outside leadership. Is this enlightenment or is it a recognition that firms lack the management and leadership skills they need?

On top of that 66% of the firms either had or were considering having external non executive directors. To us this is definitely a welcome development because it opens firms up to management wisdom and new ideas from outside the business. it should also improve governance.

Only 5% of respondents said they would never advise younger generations to pursue a legal career.

All in all the tone set was a positive one with firms feeling ready to take on the challenges they face.

Following the success of Legal Services 2015, it was only natural that the event progressed. This years Legal Services 2016 will take place on 11th November 2015, and will be hosted by Barclays at Four Piccadilly Place, their modern five floor Manchester office.

For more information and to request attendance visit