Everyone’s favourite legal PR, Giselle Daverat, and I ran a survey of employment lawyers last week under the title: £Is employment law overheating?”
We’d heard rumours that employment lawyers were among the busiest in the market and we wanted to find out more.
And as it turns out… They are incredibly busy:
Every single respondent said they were operating at over 90% of target; and
An amazing 87.5% were operating at 100% or more of target.
Employment lawyers told us…
The ‘guidance’ is developing daily and in relation to furlough HMRC is now starting to change its approach and then announce this will be retrospective. This makes it challenging to give the clients the certainty they deserve because it’s like advising in sinking sand.”
Partners and senior associates are very stretched as more of the advice is ‘business critical’ than normal. Junior associates are less busy and paralegals even less so.” According to James Davies of Lewis Silkin.
“Recently, there has been a noticeable increase in restructuring and redundancy.”
“We’ve been very busy but not all chargeable as we support many long term clients in crisis. There has been a lot of non-chargeable time spent learning the new coronavirus laws and guidance and creating content to stay visible in the market.”
“The first few months of lockdown were busy as we tried to keep up to date with the ever-updating and changing rules of the coronavirus job retention scheme. As the pace of change has slowed, there has been a noticeable increase in the restructure and redundancy workload. This has been offset a little by the pause in employment tribunal proceedings – however temporary. We paused a recruitment process in London but have the benefit of a network of offices and all levels of employment law support.”
“As an employment law and disputes-focused firm, our run rate has been very high recently. Everyone at Bellevue Law has been careful to try and look after themselves and their families whilst meeting client obligations. It’s a tough balancing act, but we keep talking and helping each other.” Florence Brocklesby of Bellevue Law.
“As a firm with a large specialist employment team we can manage capacity. It is essential to have deep and dedicated know-how support to keep track of all of the changes. It is also important to have support in other key areas such as tax and contingent workforce and particularly health & wellbeing. It’s a team effort.”
We also asked the leading employment lawyers, “Who else is busy?”
The most mentioned teams were: Disputes. Family and private client. And apparently, M&A is picking up.
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