Ireland's top law firms are facing more security risks than ever before with the top 20 experiencing a 60 per cent increase in cyber attacks in under a year and six out of 10 firms reporting attacks.
In addition, the country’s top firms are spending more to protect themselves from attack with some 6.1 per cent of turnover going on IT, up from 5.6 per cent last year, according to revelations from Smith & Williamson’s survey of Irish law firms. The survey demonstrates that technology and Brexit were the key issues facing the legal sector. It also showed that, while the majority of those surveyed felt that the business prospects for the sector had improved in the past year, almost half, (47 per cent) of all firms and more than one third of the top 20 believed it would not improve at all in the year ahead.
UK law firms interested in expansion
Brexit has also seen 44 per cent of the top 20 firms in Ireland being approached by a UK law firm to discuss partnerships and M&As which has raised additional concern over increased competition from a growing number of UK operations and solicitors turning their sights to the Emerald Isle.
Increased costs and competition
Other challenges have also resulted in increased expenditure. Salary increases between 3 per cent and 5 per cent were also revealed with 63 per cent of those surveyed reporting hikes in wages. Also, as competition heats ups to attract staff, companies were being forced to be more creative in the employee benefits they offer and have more widely implemented flexible working hours and unpaid leave. A total of 115 law firms, including 18 of the top 20 Irish firms, were surveyed with the vast majority Dublin-based.