Law firms are facing three main 'drivers of change', according to Professor Richard Susskind.
The respected legal adviser was today addressing more than 160 delegates at the Shoosmiths-hosted World Services Group 10th Annual Conference.
In Prof Susskind's keynote speech - The future of professional services - he said the three most important challenges facing law firms are clients wanting more for less, liberalisation, and technology.
An example of clients wanting more for less, he said, is them not wishing to pay high rates for relatively junior lawyers doing what he called 'routine work'.
Liberalisation, he believes, will see an 'entrepreneurial spirit' move through the profession.
And he predicted that rapidly developing technology will force lawyers to 'radically rethink' their working practices over the next two to three years.
Prof Susskind, a trained lawyer who is IT adviser to the Lord Chief Justice and an author of several books on the future legal landscape, addressed a record number of conference delegates from around the world.
Shoosmiths is hosting the global gathering, which includes guests from leading law firms in China, India and Brazil, at The Langham Hotel, in London.
The national law firm is the only World Services Group member for England and Wales.
WSG is a 150-member worldwide network that aims to 'maximise business opportunities through cooperation and knowledge exchange'.
Members operate in 117 countries and throughout the United States.