The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

2015: Jordan Furlong on the state of the legal marketplace

December 22 2014 22 December 2014

Jordan Furlong, whom you all know from his writing at Law21.ca, was kind enough to sit down with me for a half hour to look back at the state of the legal market in 2014 and to share his insight on where it's headed in 2015.

We discussed everything from Heenan Blaikie’s downfall to the impact of the drop in oil prices, the CBA Futures report and other moves toward legal regulatory reform in the country.  It’s worth checking out the whole segment, but for the impatient readers among you, here’s his takeaway from the Heenan debacle:

“Heenan encountered an extraordinary array of circumstances, pretty much all at the same time. And put that in the context of a tight market with a lot of challenges for law firms, even at the best of times. This is where you get at a lot of the concern that other lawyers and law firms had.  Because they can look at some of the things that have been cited, publically, in Heenan’s downfall, and they can see some of it themselves.  There were issues of competition, there were issues of compensation and leadership and all these things.  But fundamentally […] the market here is still very strong. And to me one of the best indicators of that is how quickly so many Heenan partners were absorbed into other large law firms. So I think this is still a robust market, but of the many lessons that firms should take from Heenan Blaikie is that law firms really are fragile institutions and it doesn’t take a whole lot to knock them sideways and, especially considering the year we have ahead of — most likely and maybe even the years beyond that — it’s a lesson we would all do really well to keep in mind.”

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