Opportunities and challenges for law firms in 2018
06 Feb 2018
According to recent research, the two key changes for law firms during the transition period to final Brexit include:
- a major focus on gaining work from businesses requiring legal advice ahead of Brexit, and
- a reduction in corporate finance and real estate work.
With the imminent changes to laws and regulations as the UK moves away from the European Union, more companies, especially regulated businesses, will be seeking legal advice to help them prepare for Brexit, the research shows. This is therefore a key revenue generating opportunity for law firms in 2018.
In contrast, historically corporate finance and the broader financial services, as well as real estate work have been strong areas of revenue for many UK law firms. However, with the various risks associated with Brexit, M&A work is likely to decrease this year and UK real estate is likely to become a less attractive market space, such as Frankfurt, for example, to operate in. This is therefore likely to impact the bottom line of law firms this year, according to the survey recipients.
"If UK based financial companies lose EU passporting rights UK law firms could lose out on work as more financial services shift activities to the rest of Europe," the report says.
“Despite Brexit and the uncertainty surrounding any future deal, law firms have been able to maintain their current partner numbers, and in many instances, continue to grow the business.
“We anticipate that it will continue to be the success of strategically important practices, like corporate finance and real estate that determines the overall growth in partner numbers at the biggest law firms."
Beavis Morgan – specialist advisers to the legal profession
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