The number of legal matters opened each week has declined by more than 30% since the start of this year, according to a worldwide analysis of case data. However a noticeable minority - 14% - of firms have seen an increase in business since the pandemic crisis broke.
Overall the figures, based on aggregated and anonymised data from legal practice management software, provide some rays of hope for the legal sector. While 56% of firms have seen a significant decrease in requests for assistance, this is due to clients postponing rather than cancelling the matter.
'We’ve seen no indication that the need for legal services has subsided during the pandemic, but for many people, dealing with them right now isn’t top of mind,” said Jack Newton, chief executive of Clio, the Canadian-headquartered company that compiled the figures. 'Law firms concerned about cash flow should be focused on understanding what barriers currently exist for clients, and be sure they are prepared to adapt their services to current and future needs of clients.'
The Covid-19 Impact Research also found that 14% of firms reporting an increase in business, and 13% of consumer respondents said they expect to deal with a legal issue resulting specifically from the pandemic.
*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England.