Life as a lawyer in a countercyclical practice area

Womble Bond Dickinson restructuring and insolvency lawyers explain what the economic downturn means for their clients

Market slowdowns affect different practice areas at law firms differently. Some, like insolvency, are countercyclical meaning they tend to see more work when the economy is struggling. At Legal Cheek’s recent virtual student event, ‘Inside the countercyclical practice areas set to power law firms through the recession’, lawyers from Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) discussed their work in the firm’s restructuring and insolvency team. Here are the highlights.

The speakers

Victoria Procter, legal director in the restructuring and insolvency team
Harry Rose, associate in the restructuring and insolvency team
Omar Sammakia, solicitor in the restructuring and insolvency team

Rising demand for countercyclical lawyers

With economic crises come unique opportunities for lawyers, especially those working in countercyclical areas like restructuring. “We are expecting the next few years to be quite busy considering the current economic downturn and challenging headwinds,” said associate Harry Rose. “High levels of inflation and energy costs are squeezing margins and increasing costs for businesses. We expect to see a lot of businesses needing to restructure in the coming years.”

Economic pressures could produce legal work related to personal insolvency as well. “The cost of living crisis means that many individuals have high levels of credit card debt (particularly post-Christmas) or other personal debts and may need to seek the advice of an insolvency practitioner or an insolvency lawyer if those debts become unmanageable,” said Rose. Overall, there is anticipated to be more work for lawyers in corporate and personal insolvency over the coming period.

A typical day in an insolvency team

As an insolvency lawyer, and as a general rule, the work is split between contentious or

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