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Saturday 20 July 2019

Smaller law firms group together to shake up market

(Stock image)
(Stock image)
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A new nationwide alliance of small and medium sized solicitor practices is aiming to take on the bigger law firms who have been hoovering up plum State contracts.

The National Solicitors Alliance, which was launched yesterday, said it would bring much needed competition to the market by allowing smaller firms group together for tenders.

Many smaller and medium sized law firms have seen themselves squeezed out of tender processes as they do not meet pre-qualifying requirements.

Quite often firms will only be considered if they have a certain head-count, a certain turnover level and certain insurance cover.

However, the alliance says smaller firms can surmount these hurdles by grouping together.

"Collectively we can come together and hit those metrics, hit those milestones and compete in that marketplace, whereas previously we couldn’t," said an alliance spokesman, solicitor Brian Cunneen.

As well as going after State contracts, the alliance will also target personal and corporate work. It currently has 45 member firms and 150 solicitors from around the country. Its membership is set to be capped at 100 firms.

"The concept is simple. We are combining the local knowledge and expertise of our member firms with a national network, to empower small and medium sized firms to compete on a larger scale," said Mr Cunneen.

"It is better for competition. It is good news for the consumer. It is good news for the State," he added.

The launch of the alliance coincides with a period where a raft of State contracts are coming to an end and must be put out to the market again.

"We are going to go for that work. There is no reason we shouldn’t get it," said Mr Cunneen.

"We have a lower cost base. We have a much greater penetration locally and regionally. We have the scale and the scope to do all of the work that needs doing."

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