By DebbieH 18 Jun 2020 7 min read

Practice areas most affected by coronavirus outbreak

A report earlier this week from Legal Cheek has outlined which legal practices have suffered the most, and the least during the outbreak of coronavirus. Below, we outline the results of the report: 


One thing is clear, the shock of this pandemic on the legal industry isn’t as clear cut as the aviation industry, for example. In terms of the working environment, lawyers do have the ability to work from home, provided they have the technology. But as a result of some industries shutting down everyday operations, there are legal practices that simply can’t operate.


Property legal activity is down 25%, as a result of the shutdown of operations in the residential market and a commercial real estate sector. 


Immigration has also been affected, suffered by the travel halt.


However there are some practices that are still performing. Employment law understandably is on the rise, as businesses seek out the legal ramifications of placing staff on furlough, or prepare for redundancies. Commercial lawyers are also on the front line of managing the legal response to COVID-19. Economic downturn means that administrators are busy, so restructuring and insolvency is still operating. 


The report also suggested that smaller law firms are likely to see an increase in demand – in particular, corporate lawyers. In house legal work was also suggested to grow.


The information provided by Legal Cheek could come as a great help to law students, helping them to plan their applications. Those areas expanding are more likely to take on new recruits, and the prospect of finding a new job in the worst recession on record will be a challenge. Students will also need to adapt to online exams and the possibility of spending the next academic year working from home.


Litigation is anticipated to take some time to return to normal circumstances, so aspiring barristers may want to consider building experience in another area of the law while waiting for the bar to recover. 

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