It certainly will have an effect but what it will be no-one knows. Here are my thoughts for what they’re worth. I’d welcome other people’s opinions. This is obviously a fluid situation.
By Practice Area
Conveyancing – likely to take a hit – is moving house unnecessary travel? I wouldn’t be surprised if this will be a bit like the financial crisis in 2007, although, hopefully shorter.
Civil Litigation – courts likely to shut, already hearing on in-person hearings being adjourned. If they do, then cases will gum up in the system, as will cashflow from concluded cases – unless they settle out of court.
Mediation & other forms of ADR – face to face will stop – on-line will increase, especially as the courts will not be operating or be slower.
Criminal – crims are likely to keep ‘working’ – but courts likely to slow down - Jury trails are to stop from April onwards, don’t know if will affect cashflow. Not sure how much social distancing can be done in a police cell. Let’s hope the LAA will continue to process your payment claims with their normal speed and accuracy!
Family – likely to slow for now and then be very busy once we are allowed to move about again.
Immigration – likely to move on-line. Those firms that rely on face-to-face work are likely to suffer more
Commercial Property – pretty much the same as for domestic conveyancing.
Employment – likely to be very busy for employment lawyers – with people being made redundant or changed working arrangements.
Commercial – likely to be a spike as companies seek assistance with their documents, but then falling away as commercial activity is subdued.
Insolvency – likely to increase but be impacted by the inability to shift the main asset if that is a building.
Corporate – likely to be a lot to start off with as businesses seek assistance, and then some ongoing as those which are in better shape see opportunities
Private Client – likely to see a significant increase at all levels, although completion of probate might be held back by the slow down of the property market.
Suggested Immediate Action