Coronavirus (COVID-19) has sent shockwaves rippling out across the UK’s entire professional services sector, fuelling a fundamental reappraisal of the way that firms will need to operate in the new business landscape.
From endemic to pandemic: the challenges professional services firms
Law firms have been particularly badly affected, with the pandemic striking on the back of a 13-year period of challenges, from the rigorous regulation and reforms sparked by the global financial crisis to mounting pressure on fees as competition within the sector has intensified. Even before COVID-19, these sweeping changes had left many law firms operating with tightly constrained cashflow and struggling without the resources or reserves needed to withstand a sustained period of crisis.
Piling on the pressure for a sector that was already suffering
Since the economic impact of the pandemic has become clearer, professional services firms across the spectrum have found themselves facing a barrage of additional challenges, including an overnight drop in revenue streams, an immediate need for all staff to work from home and additional pressure on outdated, underinvested IT infrastructure.
A platform for accelerating long-overdue change
However, it’s not all bad news for the sector. The COVID-19 crisis has given professional services firms the perfect platform to accelerate long-overdue change, to review their entire operating model from the ground up, and to future-proof their businesses against new crises in the years ahead.
As the return to the office gets underway, professional services firms must ensure they can provide their staff with a safe working environment going forward. With social distancing measures, disrupted working hours and remote-working arrangements set to challenge productivity for some time to come, firms will also need to adopt new, flexible working practices – such as hot-desking and agile working - that enable them to properly service their clients. In addition, they will need to diversify the kind of work that they undertake in future to avoid overreliance on areas that are more vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19, like conveyancing and mergers and acquisitions.
How we can help
We work in partnership with all types of firms across the UK and internationally on a range client matters for corporates and private individuals. Our team have long established relationships with leading lawyers in restructuring, commercial, corporate, employment, disputes and litigation, private client and real estate and construction teams to name a few.
We evaluate a firm’s options by providing a review of the current threats facing firms including both regulatory matters and cash flow pressures. In addition, where the Solicitors Regulation Authority are concerned, our team provide regulatory reassurance and client protection planning, reducing the risk of regulatory action, including intervention and the impact of the statutory charge.
Here are some examples of the type of work we do:
Have a look at our recent webinar where our panellists discuss the unprecedented challenges facing professional practices.