COVID-19: the impact of coronavirus on how lawyers operate

COVID-19: the impact of coronavirus on how lawyers operate

At a time when the legal landscape was already in the midst of great change, with the advancement of technology and a mindset shift on how in-house legal teams operate, COVID-19 has catalysed further transformation of the profession. But will the adoption of the new methods of working brought on by the pandemic be short-lived? Or is the legal function 2.0 here to stay?

The evolution of the role of a lawyer against the backdrop of COVID-19 will continue to demand new and more varied skills than ever before. Beyond an up-to-date knowledge of the law, legal professionals will need to adopt even greater communication and influencing skills as they grapple to operate remotely. Together with a requirement to understand the business agenda, commercial considerations and change-management is now critical, along with legal teams’ ability to become much more flexible in their operational approach.

Konexo is seeing these changes first-hand. Richard Hill, Head of Legal Resourcing, has seen a steady rise for interim, ad hoc lawyers for a number years. Yet the surge in COVID-19 related work, and the need for parachuting such resource in to support teams has increased with Richard seeing a “300% increase in March alone due to clients wanting some flexibility to their workforce.” Begging the question on whether this model will remain long after COVID-19?

Disruption has happened very visibly and on a global scale across all sectors and businesses. Time will tell whether COVID-19 looks set to alter the profession as we know it.

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This article was first published in The Legal Diary by Edward Fennell, Legal Correspondent at The Times. 

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