LPM Frontiers 2023

The annual snapshot of law firms' changing strategic priorities



LPM Frontiers is back with it’s comprehensive analysis of business strategy in the world of SME legal. Every year brings its own challenges – with the pandemic having dominated the narrative in recent years, the focus has now shifted to the economic pressure currently being felt by businesses across the UK, and globally. 

We surveyed more than 50 senior business leaders at UK SME law firms for this year’s report, and conducted interviews with a smaller representative sample to dig deeper into the numbers. The report explores familiar themes of competition and strategy (p6), technology (p13), people (p18), and cultural change (p24), all within the wider economic context of this year. Plus, we have some new questions on pricing strategies, costs and problem areas when it comes to integrating systems. 

Adding a layer of insights to LPM Frontiers are experts from our report partners – Access Legal (20), NetDocuments (p10), Osprey Approach (14) and Tessaract (p26) – who provided their take on the data, complete with valuable recommendations for business advancement. 

File Republic


Despite the gradual rise of disruptive models of legal service delivery, SME law firms remain most concerned about their direct competitors that operate in the same geographies – though firms with a headcount of more than 50 people see bigger firms are the primary threat to their market share.


Average tech spending as a share of revenues was 6.2% las year, has risen to 6.5% this year, and will continue to increase over the next 12 months for 61% of firms. Many believe that tech is a key enabler for growth, while others see it as a route to efficiency and resilience at a time of uncertainty. 


SME law firms are seeing the same spike in energy and property costs being felt across the wider economy. For 19% of firms, this jump is higher than 10% – some are feeling the pressure and taking steps to mitigate, though a widely expected rise in revenue will likely offset some of these increases.



As environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance grows in importance in the wider economy, large portions of SME legal firms aren’t feeling the pressure to change. Senior leadership and employees are the main spark for advancement in the space, though some say regulatory pressure will likely be the most decisive.



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