LPM Frontiers 2022

The annual snapshot of law firms' changing strategic priorities



We’ve heard our share of speculation on what the legal sector will look like after the pandemic – we’re now closer than ever to seeing for ourselves. This year’s Frontiers takes a close look at new business challenges, progress on the tech front, attitudes to hybrid working, and the road to building a greener business. 

60 senior operational leaders answered this year’s survey –    seven of whom have shared with us their commentary on the findings via in-depth qualitative interviews. We’ve combined the numbers and commentary to give you a full picture of the sector as it stands, and we’ve split the data by headcount (<50 or >50) in some topic areas to highlight the diversity of positions and perspectives in SME legal. 

Our competitiveness vs efficiency graph makes a customary appearance – providing an overview of what’s hot in the legal tech world. Plus, our report partners – Access Legal, NetDocuments, Osprey Approach, and Accesspoint – offer their thoughts on how to tackle the defining challenges facing today’s SME law firm. 


The much-cited observation that businesses underwent years of transformation in weeks during the pandemic seems to manifest itself in LPM Frontiers 2022 – as our annual survey of UK SME legal leaders reveals a range of new strategic considerations on the agenda (p5).


On average, SME law firms are spending just over 6.2% of their revenues on IT (including legal tech and IT staff) – very little movement on last year’s 6%. A range of tech projects are on the agenda for the next year or so, although improving client relationships and experience features prominently among top picks.


With the volatility of outbreaks and consequent restrictions over the last year, firms have had time to trial hybrid working of various forms, and scrutinise their effectiveness as long-term arrangements. For two-thirds of respondents, two to three days in the office is satisfactory, with creative and flexible arrangements being applied from one firm to the next.



An intensifying focus on environmental sustainability worldwide has permeated the SME legal sector, but isn’t a major source of pressure right now – 71% of respondents report that clients rarely or never assess their firm’s environmental policies before choosing to work with them.




LPM Frontiers 2024

The leading annual picture of SME law firms' changing strategic priorities

LPM Risk 2024

Regulatory and cybersecurity risks are on the rise

LPM Frontiers 2023

The annual snapshot of law firms' changing strategic priorities

LPM Frontiers: Legal IT landscapes 2021

The annual snapshot of law firms' changing technology priorities