About the Conference

On the 14th November 2019, the 9th Autumn Conference of the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession (Bucerius CLP) will take place on the campus of the Bucerius Law School, Hamburg.

Now in its eighth year, the conference attracts around 270 delegates and is a key driving force and cornerstone of the legal services market. It serves as a forum for partners and managers from top commercial law firms to meet with in-house counsel from large companies to share ideas and experiences.

Each year the Bucerius CLP sets the benchmark with new ideas and brings together well-known participants and speakers from Germany, England and the USA.

On the evening before the conference there will be a Get-Together at the Übersee-Club in Hamburg, with a keynote speech and an opportunity for networking.



Key Themes: Step out of your comfort zone
Managed Legal Services are on the rise

Commercial law firms are expanding their business models and developing ancillary “non-legal” services such as Project Management, Process Design or Data Visualisation. Many have already established their own “Legal Services Center”, in other cities and even other countries. These new standardised services, supported by legal technology, are needed to meet the growing demand from in-house counsel for solutions to complex problems which must be capable of being integrated into the client’s own systems and processes. The “Big Four” accountancy and consultancy firms are strong competitors and, with their deep pockets, are making renewed in-roads into the legal services market.

  • How will law firms respond? Will traditional legal advice recede entirely?
  • How will this affect the nature and quality of legal advice?
  • In-house legal departments themselves are currently getting to grips with “Legal Management”, how will they manage this change?

As in previous years, the Autumn Conference of the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession offers its impressions and insights into the latest developments in the legal market as well as a unique platform for exchanging views with all the key players in the market.



Looking back


From the start, the question of a change in the cooperation between law firms and businesses has been a mainstay on the agendas of the Bucerius CLP autumn conferences.

Main topic 2011: Trends in the cooperation of law firms and business

The opening event of the Bucerius CLP autumn conference on November 18, 2011 offered lawyers from companies and law firms a glimpse of the future: How the relationship between in-house lawyers and external lawyers has evolved in times of increasing cost pressure, commoditization and legal process outsourcing.

Main topic 2012: Legal services in transformation

With the second autumn conference on November 21, 2012, Bucerius CLP again offered in-house lawyers and external counsel a forum for mutual exchange regarding practice questions.

The conference revolved around changes in the assessment of legal services, examined the way in which law firms today operate, and discussed the opportunities and challenges arising from the English Alternative Business Structure model (ABS, foreign owned).

Main topic 2013: Growth as well as cost pressure: Options for legal departments, law firms and new entrants

How does strategic planning work in legal departments? What (growth) opportunities are available for law firms and new entrants in the legal (or related) services market with a view to the changing market conditions? What innovative paths are companies adopting to deal with the ever-increasing cost pressure? How do law firms and new entrants face the “more for less” challenge? And what opportunities and risks does the legal market present in general? These and other questions were discussed at the third autumn conference of Bucerius CLP under the main theme “Growth as well as cost pressure: Options for legal departments, law firms and new entrants,” on November 22, 2013 in Hamburg.

Main topic 2014: Revolution or evolution? Innovation management in the legal market

At the fourth Bucerius CLP autumn conference “Revolution or evolution? Innovation management in the legal market,” held on November 21, 2014, the following issues were the focus of discussion: What new strategies are law firms, companies and alternative providers of legal-related services pursuing? What does the legal market of tomorrow look like? How do companies, law firms and new entrants deal with the “more for less” challenge? What innovations arise in the areas of knowledge and contract management, human resources and project and process management? Is a new path being forged by legal departments?

Main topic 2015: Man vs. Machine? The Future of Legal Work

At the fifth autumn conference, the following issues were in focus: Will automation win over people in the end? Or it is more about  good cooperation than about competition? Are we only talking about future matters or do we already need to address these questions today? The conference held on November 20, 2015 built on the discussion of the previous years and dealt with the increasing penetration of technology and standardized work processes into what was hitherto considered a safe stronghold of human activity: the legal profession.

The speakers reported on developments which are already underway today, and explained how companies or law firms that are already “ahead” of the market operate, and discussed what challenges this poses for the internal organization. The central question was: How might we design the path that takes us from today into tomorrow?

Main topic 2017: Disruption? Opportunity!

The speakers at the 7th Autumn Conference have explained through real-life examples, how it is possible, in the current fast-changing climate, to develop new strategies and thus take advantage of digital change.

Main topic 2018: Class actions

Digitalisation made it possible! The finance, health, tobacco and food industries have already encountered the first wave of class actions. This fast growing area is representative of the fundamental changes in the legal market and affects the way legal departments work with external counsel.



Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession (CLP)

The Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession prepares analyses on issues concerning the management and leadership of corporate legal firms and legal departments and conducts research projects on the development of the legal market and the regulatory environment.

The findings are presented in the form of meetings and conferences and feed into the consulting services offer for business firms and legal departments. The work of Bucerius CLP is supported by an advisory board composed of researchers and practitioners who contribute their broad expertise to the different programs and projects.

Bucerius CLP was founded at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg and inaugurated in October 2010 under the auspices of Bucerius Education GmbH.

Click here to access the website of Bucerius CLP