Is bigger better when choosing a law firm?

Author: Emma Shipp
Is bigger better when choosing a law firm?

In a word, no... But the size of a firm is something you’ll want to consider when choosing the right lawyer for you. 

Let us explain. A big, global firm is set up and run to manage cases involving large sums for large organisations. What matters to them is winning the biggest jobs by offering everything a global client could want. If you ask them to work below this level, on smaller pieces of work or for smaller businesses, the way in which they’re structured can make them overly expensive. They might not even have the relevant experience you need, in terms of understanding how a smaller business works at a day-to-day level. It’s unlikely that a global firm is going to be right for a smaller business like yours, however glossy and “safe” they might appear.

The sort of firm you need really comes down to what you need them to do.  

If you have a particular legal issue, or are looking for a lawyer with particular experience of working in your sector, a good alternative can be to go to a smaller, “boutique” firm. They cover a limited field of work (perhaps Intellectual Property or franchise law) only, in a specialist way. They tend to be less expensive than the global firms but because they’re specialists (and often recruit from the global firms), they’re comparable in terms of expertise. 

If your needs are more general then what’s known as a “mid-tier” firm could be for you. These are medium to large firms that seek to cover a broad range of legal areas. They tend to be less expensive than the global firms but there is a trade-off. They may lack global coverage so if you need a firm that operates in a number of countries then they may not be the right choice for you.  They may also have less depth of specialisation although a small to medium size business is unlikely generally to require advice outside of their range of expertise. 

Finally, you could go to a small, general firm. There is no denying that this is likely to be the cheapest option. However, there may be even less depth of specialisation and a wider variety in the quality of individual lawyers. With the smallest firms a single partner might attempt to cover a wide range of business law, for example property, companies AND commercial contracts and that may impact on their experience and knowledge. Now, working with just one lawyer who works hard for you can make for a stronger relationship with a trusted adviser. This can be more valuable than the specialist expertise that you’d find at a larger firm but only if this is what you’re looking for.

In summary, understanding what you’re looking for is the most important part and that’s where Ravenna comes in. Our advisers have a wealth of experience and knowledge at their fingertips so we can help you find a lawyer that’s right for you.

Want to find the right lawyer for your business? Book your free 30-minute consultation with one of our advisors by clicking here. We’ll talk through the options and suggest at least two law firms that we think are a good fit for your business. We aren’t paid any commission and you won’t be under any pressure to work with any law firms we put forward.