With COVID-19 disrupting businesses, many organisations are renegotiating their contracts. Some organisations are going bankrupt and many agreements are being dishonoured. New contracts are being drafted to ensure more protection to organisations from unforeseen risks and this itself will lead to counterparties pursuing litigation for terms they perceive as overly restrictive.
Spending on outside counsel will increase by 5% in 2021
With increased litigation, more work will flow to outside counsel. While big law firms will get a significant portion of this business, mid-size companies will also see an increase in business opportunities. Inhouse legal counsels will prefer to work with companies they have done business with before because of the risk factor. However, the increase in litigation and rate pressures will force legal departments to give the new firms a try. The added pressure means that new mid-sized performing firms will have a better opportunity to forge long-lasting partnerships.
Increased competition despite an increase in work
Despite firms getting more litigation work, the competition to ensure new business will increase given the recent COVID risk and the resulting lull period that organisations have faced. With the current economic uncertainty, many law firms will look to take up as much work as possible.
Employer-employee litigation to increase
COVID-19 has brought about many issues from redundancies, shut-down orders, remote work, furloughs, bankruptcies, and more. Organisations are dealing with high volumes of employment litigation making it one of the most common type of litigation that will keep law firms busy in 2021.
The pace of transformation will increase for the legal industry
While the transformation to become more agile and technologically sophisticated has been an ongoing one for law firms, 2021 will usher this at an increased pace because of two main reasons. One- the 75 million Baby Boomer generation are retiring, and the younger generation will rely more on technology. Two- COVID-19 has forced a change in how law firms operate. Law firms are now more open to experimenting with new processes and operational models and have a stronger focus on continuous improvement.
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