Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Law Firm Leaders Worried About Economic Future

Even though revenues in recent years have been robust, law firm leaders are expressing a surprising degree of pessimism about the future.

Their confidence in the U.S. and global economy is waning, according to a recent survey. As is their confidence in the legal industry as a whole.

But in what looks like a contradiction, they’re quite optimistic about their own firms, where they see rosy days ahead.

“Law firm leaders have lost confidence in the U.S. and global economy, but that hasn’t translated into a gloom-and-doom outlook for their own businesses,” writes Roy Strom for Bloomberg Law. “The index of managing partners’ confidence in the U.S. economy dipped 18 points. The law firm leaders were even more pessimistic about the global economy. But they expect their own businesses to fare better than the broader economy.”

The numbers come from the annual Law Firm Leaders Confidence Index, published by Citi Private Bank.

Read more about the Confidence Index here, here and here.

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“Citi’s confidence index in the U.S. economy fell to a score of 87 from a previous level of 105,” says Bloomberg. “A score below 100 indicates a lack of confidence. The confidence gauge for the global economy fell 17 points to hit 76, with 49 percent of respondents saying they expected the first half of 2020 to be ‘somewhat worse’ than the previous six months.”

But when it comes to their own firms, law leaders are more bullish.

“Only 8 percent of respondents expect revenue to decline over the next six months, while 36 percent expect top-line growth between 2 percent and 4.9 percent,” according to Bloomberg. “Another quarter of respondents expect revenue to grow by less than 2 percent. Only 8 percent expect revenue declines.”

A Citi Private Bank spokesperson said while there are “a lot of positive signs in the market,” she sensed firms were gearing up for a recession.

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About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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