Latest analysis of official economic statistics shows that some practice areas are likely to benefit from the Covid-19 crisis. The Gross Legal Product Index, compiled by legal information publisher LexisNexis, shows that, while the legal market contracted by 2.5% in the first quarter, shrinkage is not universal.
Office for National Statistics data shows that the UK's gross domestic product fell by an unprecedented 20.4% in April.
The LexisNexis index reveals that the lockdown has had a devastating impact on the residential property market (sales are down 70%) and commercial property. Immigration has been equally affected by the suspension of global travel.
However the Gross Legal Product shows employment law to be faring well, as companies work to understand the legal consequences of furloughing 7.5m employees. Meanwhile commercial demand has grown 8% in just three months.
The model suggests that in-house legal work is likely to continue to grow, with corporate lawyers the most likely to benefit.
It concludes that the immediate impact of Covid-19 'may not be too dramatic', and certain firms with larger practices in counter-cyclical practice areas will experience big increases in demand. Beyond the immediate fallout, however, large firms which have a heavy exposure to practice areas hit by Covid-19 face tougher long-term prospects. 'Restructuring and insolvency and employment specialists will be busy for years to come, but they account for only 9% of partners at the top 100 firms.'