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Taking the pulse—the outlook for legal services in the next three to six months grows more optimistic

Lucy Marshall

09 Jun 2021

Image Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Optimism for the next three and six months continues to increase with only 10 percent of respondents expecting to see a decline for their services in the next three to six months, according to our latest pulse survey asking 242 lawyers about their outlook in the current climate. The same survey was conducted in June and October last year with 842 respondents participating across those two surveys.

The majority of respondents expect to see increases in demand

Of the respondents, 60 percent expect an increase in demand for their services in the next three months, up from 51 percent in October’s survey. Of the respondent in the current survey, 70 percent (up from 57 percent in October) are expecting an increase over the next six months.

Download your copy of Thomson Reuters LPE Quarterly Pulse Survey Insights Q1 2021.

The biggest increase in optimism has come from larger law firms, in part driven by anticipated demand from Corporations and Mid-Market Clients. Corporate respondents have been consistent across the surveys in their expectation that demand for their services will increase, and expect these demands on their departments to grow not only from the evolution brought on by COVID-19, but from other factors such as Brexit and internal projects.

The top five practice areas where an increase in demand is expected are:

  • Litigation/Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial Property
  • Employment
  • Corporate M&A
  • Commercial Transactions/Contracts

Corporate respondents expecting that there will also be a need for risk and compliance (risk advisory) expertise alongside other practice areas.

Technology solutions are expected to play a part in meeting increased demand

Whilst respondents in law firms expect the demand will be managed by reallocating headcount and hiring extra headcount, Government and Corporate clients expect to continue to outsource to law firms, in order to deal with increases for demands on their internal departments. The survey showed an increasing expectation among respondents that their organisations will be considering some form of technology solution, indicating that they expect the uplift in demand to become the norm.

Add your voice to our latest pulse survey

Thomson Reuters regularly conducts this survey to understand the outlook from lawyers for the next three and six months.

The latest survey is open until late July 2021 and you can participate by clicking here and ensuring your views are added.

The surveys are anonymous and take approximately two minutes to complete. There is also the opportunity to participate in a prize draw as a thank you for your time.



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