The question that has haunted attorneys and legal professionals for years now is what is Covid-19. In 2021, the then government formed an “expert panel” to find out the impact of Covid-19 on the legal sector. At the time the panel included prominent barristers who are members of the Bar Association, the Law Society, and the Regulation Authorities. Its findings were published in a report entitled “The Effect of Covid-19 on the Legal Profession”. This article looks at what the report found and assesses the recommendations that were subsequently made by the experts to the government, the legal profession, the regulatory authorities, and the legal profession in general. We look at whether the report was able to make the public understand the significance of the findings.
We begin with the introduction. There was widespread concern that legal professionals were lax in accepting and processing pre-offer agreements, particularly in the financial and insolvency area, where some firms had provided extremely lucrative but risky business opportunities for many under-qualified individuals. These practices arose because many under-qualified individuals were unable to find suitable jobs in the financial and insolvency area. The result was the emergence of a cottage industry in the UK that exploiting the desperation of some badly qualified individuals looking for work.
Law firms became highly competitive
Many law firms had become highly competitive over the years and were cutting costs by offering sub-standard legal services to desperate clients. The result was that the quality of legal services declined in some areas while in other areas the quality of legal services actually deteriorated. The result was that the market for legal services was becoming saturated with sub-standard law firms and the result was the entry of illegal operators into the market. The result of this was that the market was driven by competition rather than regulation.
The increased competitiveness between legal professionals has also led to a situation where those professionals who wish to practice independently can do so. Since the legal industry is highly fragmented and there are too few players for a relatively small market, firms must be careful not to select on the basis of price alone. Rather, they should always aim at developing a long-term and comprehensive strategic plan. Law firms must also be committed to providing the best quality service to their clients. This is where the need for a professional law recruitment agency comes into the picture.
The emergence of this problem in the UK is the same phenomenon that is now facing the legal profession in America. To bring the problem of unregulated competition to a halt, American law firms have adopted a tough stance and have insisted on maintaining high standards. They have also insisted on transparency and ethical conduct in the legal industry. This approach has proved very effective and led to the reduction of the number of defaults and bankruptcy filings by law firms. At the same time, the number of new lawyers has been increasing and this is creating a very attractive pool for potential candidates who want to make a career in the field of law.
Can be seen in the barristers’ chamber
Other than the courts, the impact of covid-19 on the legal sector can also be seen in the barristers’ chamber, where the number of solicitors and barristers has been on the decline over the past decade. This is a clear example of the importance of maintaining a strong and professional law industry, where legal professionals are able to provide effective legal services to their clients. However, the current financial climate has resulted in many law firms closing their doors, resulting in the loss of a large number of highly experienced legal professionals. Many law firms have resorted to hiring temp work in order to avoid the heavy brunt of shutting down, thereby creating a shortage of highly qualified personnel in the legal sector.
From the above, it can be concluded that the impact of covid-19 on the legal industry is very significant and should not be underestimated. The changes in the regulatory law, namely the Expert Witnesses rule, and the high number of dismissals over the past few years, have had a negative impact on the quality of legal services offered by the legal profession. However, with a strong and experienced legal recruitment agency, the legal professionals can still hope to retain important positions within the legal sector. This will ensure that the quality of legal services is maintained at a high level.