Business Recovery Report

22/11/2021

From the early stages of the pandemic, the Council of the Law Society resolved to support member firms through the immediate crisis and into the next phase: business recovery.

As part of this strategy, the Business Recovery research was conducted by Crowe during March to May of 2021 involving an online survey and interviews.

Road to Recovery

The resulting report, published recently, explores solicitors’ experiences of the business impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to understand the type of supports required from the Society and Government into the future.

Key messages from the survey and report

  • High levels of impact have been experienced by practices. The impact varies across practice areas. There is a lot of uniformity in terms of the issues arising such as financial pressures, lack of new business development and operational changes to working.
  • The sector has proven to be agile and adaptable in the face of a challenging business environment.
  • Practitioners have been required to adapt quickly to innovative new ways of working such as remote working, remote client interaction, adoption of digital processes.
  • Going forward, greater collaboration within the profession and by the Law Society with additional training and guidance will be required. Greater collaborations will also be necessary with external stakeholders domestically and internationally.
  • Digitalisation trend of legal services is set to continue. Initiatives, schemes and supports should follow this trend.
  • The profession is optimistic about the future.
  • Regularly review and monitor the situation and respond as required as next stages evolve. Plan for the future.

Concerns about future impact

  • The top three concerns about the impact of the pandemic were turnover / income (25%), concern about the future of their business (18%) and fear of the economic impact / recession (16%).

Responses and solutions to working

  • 73% of solicitors believed the use of information and communications technology (ICT) will have the most positive impact on their business in the next 6-12 months.
  • 65% of solicitors reported that changed work practice will have a positive impact on their business in the next 6-12 months.

Summary of main report recommendations:

  • The Law Society should create and facilitate more connections within the sector, stakeholders and representative organisations.
  • The Law Society should support the profession in new ways of working to take advantage of the digitalisation trend in legal services.
  • The Law Society should regularly review, evaluate and monitor the economic environment.

Conclusions: continuing impact

In conclusion, the report demonstrates that the continuing impact of Covid-19 will require ongoing agility and resilience for some time. What is most encouraging is how adaptable practitioners have been in changing to new technologies and ways of working.

The Council of the Law Society has approved the Report and implementation plan. You can find out more about these on the Law Society website.

For anyone running their own firm, or with an interest in doing so, you can read the report here:

Justin Purcell
Small Practice Business Executive