In-house lawyers are expecting a marked increase in company insolvencies when State pandemic supports are withdrawn, according to a survey carried out by law firm William Fry.
The legal firm recently held a virtual conference with more than 100 in-house counsel, who took part in the survey.
According to William Fry, 60% of the lawyers anticipated that companies might encounter financial difficulties with debtors when pandemic measures ended.
Fergus Doorly, the firm’s head of restructuring and insolvency, said the strong support provided to firms throughout the COVID-19 crisis meant that corporate insolvencies had increased by only 1% between 2019 and 2020 and had fallen by 30% in the first quarter of 2021.
He added, however, that the Government was now looking to introduce new legislation to allow small firms to avail of restructuring processes, in anticipation of future financial difficulties.
The survey also found that just over two-thirds of in-house lawyers had been involved in a virtual dispute-resolution process in the last year.
For these cases, more than 80% would like to see a mix of virtual and in-person processes in the future, with only 5% calling for the return of a fully in-person system.