UK law firms expect more work in run-up to Brexit

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Most law firms in the UK are expecting more work and larger headcounts as the country gears up for its exit out of the European Union.
 
According to a survey conducted by Clayton Legal, 62% of respondents say they expect workloads to increase in at least on practice at their firms in the next 12 months.
 
The result comes as Theresa May and her government has set March next year as the tentative date when they will trigger Article 50, commencing the start of the formal process to withdraw from the EU.
 
Meanwhile, 87% of law firms anticipate headcount to either stat the same or increase, influenced mainly by the anticipated flood of work in the short term because of the Brexit.
 
Fewer but still a significant portion of the respondents (45%) believe that workload will increase in two or more practices at their firms. Meanwhile, 35% indicated they expect workloads to increase in three or more practices while 25% said they expect workload to increase in four or more practices.
 
The study conducted by the legal recruitment firm noted that professionals working in areas directly impacted by EU-level legislation were most upbeat about their prospects in the next year.
 
For example, legal professionals working within EU law and financial services expected headcount to rise (90%) or stay the same (83%).
 
“Despite some commentators expressing concerns over the potential impact Brexit could have on demand for legal services in the UK, it is clear, in the short term at least, that law firms expect workload to increase. And while it’s perhaps unsurprising that firms expect to increase their headcount due to a rise in workload, it’s certainly a positive sign of strength within the profession,” says Lynn Sedgwick, Clayton Legal managing director.
 
“Though it remains difficult to ascertain the long term implications of such an unprecedented political shift, the outlook for the rest of year and beyond certainly seems positive for legal profession and firms alike,” she adds.
 

Related stories:
Freshfields leads ‘Brexodus’ charge
Record-low UK attrition rates contribute to legal skills shortage
 

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