The report’s researcher Joel Barolsky – a senior fellow at the Melbourne Law School and managing director at Barolsky Advisors – suggested Australian corporates are turning to local firms for their litigation and domestic matters.
“The global firms don't offer anything differentiated and there might be a preference to not go to a global firm because there might be a sense that you are paying a global overhead for local work,” he said.
“Some of the leading local firms or domestic firms – Minter Ellison, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Gilbert + Tobin or Clayton Utz – are now making lots of headway by saying 'we're independent, we're Australian-owned, we're local',” he said.
A white paper by Melbourne Law School and Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor, 2015, found demand growth in Australia had fallen more dramatically for global firms than their national competitors. In the past year, demand growth for globals in Australia fell 4.7 per cent, compared to 1 per cent for national firms, the report found. This trend was particularly evident for corporate general advice, where demand for globals fell 9.7 per cent compared to 4.4 per cent for nationals, and dispute resolution, which followed an almost identical pattern. Only the real estate sector bucked the trend, with demand for advice up 7.2 per cent for globals compared to 1.4 per cent for nationals.