Local experts from across the US share their insights into how Covid-19 is affecting the country's key legal markets.
Key sectors: tech, life sciences, IP, healthcare, biotech, financial services
“Every law firm in Boston and beyond is dealing with the effects of Covid-19, whether it’s navigating remote work or learning new ways to support clients. Law firms have had to grapple with challenges ranging from drastically varied financial projections to quickly shifting technological needs. We are fortunate that our firm entered the crisis in a strong, financially stable position with a strategic plan for a potential future crisis.”
Key sectors: finance, manufacturing, healthcare, education, professional services, trade, transportation, utilities, insurance.
“Chicago’s top firms, like Sidley, were already committed to lawyer well-being, technological innovation such as remote work, and community service. Covid-19 and the related economic distress underscores the importance of each of these areas and will drive law firm management in the years ahead.”
“In five years, it will be more essential than it is now for law firms in DC to accommodate remote-working arrangements if they want to recruit and retain top talent.” – David Mroz, hiring partner for Finnegan's DC and Reston offices
Key sectors: government, professional services, tourism, education
“In five years, it will be more essential than it is now for law firms in DC to accommodate remote-working arrangements if they want to recruit and retain top talent. The trick will be doing so in a way that does not compromise the firm’s culture and traditions, which are often promoted through in-person activities.”
Key sectors: energy, financial services, healthcare, food, biotech, manufacturing
“Given the current pandemic, we suspect combinations and financial stress of economic downturn will inevitably leave fewer players in the market. On balance, we are confident the city’s gritty spirit will enable it to stand the test of time.”
“We are confident the city’s gritty spirit will enable it to stand the test of time.” – Jami McKeon, Morgan Lewis firm chair
“As the Shelter-In-Place (SIP) orders rippled across the country and globe, we created nine state-specific SWAT teams. Today, nearly two months later, our aggregate regional and subject matter task forces—nearly 30 teams strong and growing daily—includes many Philadelphia lawyers who play a critical role in our firm’s rapid response.”
Key sectors: manufacturing, healthcare, energy, technology
“Because of the significant impact on clients (particularly manufacturing, retail, and transactional clients), there will be significant collateral impacts on the legal market that will last for well over a year, maybe longer. But there will also be new legal work generated as a result of Covid-19 (including class actions, insurance disputes, and a variety of litigation disputes).”
Key sectors: technology, energy, renewables, manufacturing, agribusiness, retail and food services, health care, life sciences, aerospace
“The practice areas thriving in Seattle are practices such as IP, technology transactions, corporate, litigation, real estate, employment, litigation, environmental, tax, restructuring and insolvency, and investment management. These all continue to grow as the Seattle client base is supported and continues to expand.”
“The market, like the Puget Sound region, will continue to grow, diversify and be energetic and energizing in its focus.” – Pallavi Mehta Wahi, managing partner of K&L Gates’ Seattle office.
“Similar to any business, the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will have short and long term impacts on how legal services are provided and how we work as law firms for our clients. The market, like the Puget Sound region, will continue to grow, diversify and be energetic and energizing in its focus.”
Key sectors: automotive, chemicals, technology, forestry, aeronautics
“The coronavirus has created a lot of work for government and regulatory lawyers advising clients on how to access disaster relief funds made available by federal, state and local appropriating bodies. Navigating the SBA guidelines on the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) has been a challenge for recipients hoping to protect loan forgiveness."
“The need for office space will be severely impacted as law firms and their clients learn to do more with less commercial brick and mortar” – Jesse Vogtle, partner in Waller’s Birmingham office.
"Short-term – the impact on Alabama law firm’s office space will be minimal given the long term nature of commercial real estate office leases. Long-term – the need for office space will be severely impacted as law firms and their clients learn to do more with less commercial brick and mortar, and focus on virtual technologies to organize teams and do their jobs at a greatly reduced expense and improved quality of life.”
Key sectors: healthcare, life sciences, financial services, real estate, hospitality, construction, transportation, insurance, technology, tourism, international trade.
“In the short term, the Florida legal marketplace, as well as the legal industry more broadly, will experience an uptick in practice areas involving government relations, administrative and regulatory law, healthcare, and labor & employment law.”
Key sectors: healthcare, hospitality, tourism, manufacturing, payment systems, IT, agricultural.
“Since Covid-19, labor & employment, healthcare (on the finance and operations-side, with a slowdown in M&A work) and finance and restructuring [are thriving]. Assuming a return to some level of normalcy we expect real estate and corporate work (including healthcare transactions) to thrive, especially in fast-growing areas like Middle Tennessee.”
“Assuming a return to some level of normalcy we expect real estate and corporate work (including healthcare transactions) to thrive, especially in fast-growing areas like Middle Tennessee.”– Katie Stenberg, partner in Waller’s Nashville office.
“Long-term, we expect things to heat back up: we don’t see the metrics changing for why Tennessee is a good option for relocation, so we foresee continued growth of corporate clients and in the real estate area. It will be interesting to see how the hospitality industry weathers this. Nashville could be a good option since it is within driving distance for many people and relatively inexpensive for vacations, although some folks may debate that given the recent surge in hotel pricing (at least pre-Covid). On the other hand, much of its attraction (bars/live music) will not be social distancing-friendly.”