With many major professional services firms reporting impressive half-year revenue increases we could be forgiven for thinking that those in the legal profession will escape the worst effects of the economic downturn. However, this would be a naive and dangerous approach. Those recording increases of revenue in the first half have benefited from three factors: a flight to quality in a crisis to magic circle and other top firms, an international presence (as most overseas markets have slowed down later than in the UK) and sterling's devaluation against the euro and the US dollar. Some UK-based firms have also benefited from having a practice that is not dependent on property, M&A or finance work. But even for these firms the outlook is uncertain, to say the least.
Make no mistake, law firms are in for an extremely tough 2009 - but that doesn't mean there won't be opportunities, say Tony Williams and Colin Ives With many major professional services firms reporting...
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