The “new normal” for accident solicitors in Liverpool: lockdown restrictions in the UK are beginning to ease. But many are concerned that the government’s furlough scheme is only postponing unavoidable redundancies within the legal industry.
There’s been enormous and mandatory changes for the legal industry. Since the covid-19 global pandemic forced the UK – and much of the world – into lockdown. Legal recruitment has been hugely affected and we’re examining how legal firms such as accident solicitors in Liverpool will be affected.
Mark Bailey, the associate director in the legal division at Sellick Partnership noted that. ‘The legal market has been hit quite hard… traditional high street firms are generally not set up for remote working. And the drop in the number of instructions in property as well as immigration. Along with the passing trade that high street firms are traditionally so reliant on. Has meant that their businesses were fundamentally affected.’
Is remote working a new solution?
Laura Hayward, a recruiter for the Sellick Partnership, believes that flexibility will be key to those working in the legal recruitment market and employers who can embrace that ideal will be more likely to secure the right candidates. She stated: ‘Many firms have seen that working from home can work, there will be a major shift in the sector towards flexible working. A number of law firms have indicated that they aren’t going back to the office five days a week any time soon.’
Duane Cormell of Realm Recruitment reiterates this idea and even suggested it was something that has been on the horizon for a while: ‘The yearning for flexibility has been there for some time, and the profession has generally resisted it. Going forward it is going to become a prerequisite. Our advice to law firms wanting to be seen as ahead of the game would be to offer flexibility both in terms of days spent in the office as well as how the contracted hours are worked by their employees.’
Could this idea pave the way for accident solicitors in Liverpool who might decide to split their time between and office and working from home?
Will redundancies be on the rise?
Whilst many law firms like accident solicitors in Liverpool are taking the time to reconsider their business models. It’s currently unclear as to where in the sector redundancies might hit first. Whilst some recruiters have seen an increased need for newly qualified solicitors and paralegals, others have seen a steep decline.
It has been suggested that if past recessions are anything to go by, associates with six years of PQE or more. As well as more junior fee-earners. Are amongst the more likely to face redundancies later in the year. They are valued for their proficiency and client-facing expertise. But it seems probable that their jobs will once again be at risk.
Adam Gordon, CEO of Candidate. ID suggested that a serious reshuffle in the industry is inevitable. Telling the Law Gazette ‘There is going to be a lot of consolidation in the market. And retiring of senior fee-earners. Law firms are going to be a very different shape come September. There is no point in having a 300-strong legal team if you don’t need that until later in the year.’
Room for optimism?
There are always exceptions to the rule and currently, the public sector is just that. Child care and adult social care departments are seeing a rise in activity, especially during lockdown. The need for urgent care proceedings has increased. And with the ability to conduct the hearings virtually, the workload for the legal teams is surging.
Laura Hayward stated: ‘We have not noticed any slowdown in work in local government. Candidates of all levels of experience that might not have been considered in the past are now in the running for public sector vacancies. This includes those coming from a private practice background.’
Looking to the future
Despite the turbulence that covid-19 has inflicted upon the legal sector, a recent report carried out by Realm Recruitment found that ‘law firms expecting to make redundancies are in the minority, with only 27% saying these were ‘likely’. Not one said redundancies were ‘very likely’.
Further findings suggest that flexible working and working from home is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future. During F-Lex’s weekly virtual call, 55% of 158 general counsel are keeping some form of working from home an option for all their employees.
Legal firms like accident solicitors in Liverpool should expect to know more about the legal sector’s “new normal” and the changes it will face by the end of the year.