Monday, January 03, 2011

What will the VAT rise and the forthcoming period of austerity mean for the legal industry..? 

Tomorrow 4th Jan 2011 VAT rises to 20%. Any bills raised by your lawyer for privately funded work will be a little bit more expensive from now on.

Our firm has tried to be generous and we have processed as many bills as possible pre 4th Jan. There are some invoices that will be backdated for various reasons and the old rate may still apply. However from here on in - Law just got more expensive for every private individual in the UK.

Overall this year is going to be tight for the man on the street and that means that every professional sector will be hit hard. So whilst the VAT rise itself will not affect the legal industry, other factors certainly will:

  • House prices and house sales are falling meaning less people will instruct conveyancing solicitors.
  • Making a Will has never been a top priority for many people - volumes will now drop even further.
  • Probate will be affected as people look for cheaper deals and there are much more affordable ways nowadays of administering a will 
  • Family / Divorce lawyers will be affected as couples seek low cost methods to deal with divorce and separation.

When you add to that mix Oct 2011 and the introduction of Tesco Law and Alternative Business Structures (ABS) - this undoubtedly will be a difficult and very challenging year for the industry. When times are hard, as an employee or as a partner you need to look at your top people and management to determine whether the firm you are in actually has what it takes to survive the approaching storm.

If it doesnt and you think you deserve better - make a move now and seek a better position for yourself. Dont wait until the hurricane hits land.

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