Gross Legal Product (GLP) Index 2021 – Predicting future trends in the Bar

Gross Legal Product (GLP) Index 2021 – Predicting future trends in the Bar

What is the impact of COVID-19 on legal demand? Which practice areas are the most (and least) impacted, and what has this meant for the Bar? At the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference, LexisNexis shared its latest findings.

The Gross Legal Product (GLP) Index is a new legal study released by LexisNexis. For the first time, barristers and legal professionals can access a statistical benchmark, which measures demand in the legal market, and quantifies the impact of COVID-19.

Our model is based on hundreds of metrics rooted in real data from a variety of primary sources, such as the Ministry of Justice and the ONS. Our experts at LexisNexis have also added their own views on the market and what strategies to employ for success during the pandemic.

We hope this data will give you a clear picture of the legal market and help you understand the dynamics of market growth or decline in your areas of practice. 

Click here to download the latest edition

Thrive or survive? 

What is the market outlook for your areas of practice? Why is the legal market shrinking or growing, which practice areas are the worst affected, and why?

If you can understand how different areas of the law are performing, you might be able to predict the impact on your work over the next year and beyond. Understanding where the growth comes from could help you broaden your work or take on different work, adjacent to your usual areas of practice.

For example, the data points show that some areas of the law have been broadly unaffected or ‘insulated’ from what’s been going on, such as Family. When we look at underlying measures of demand and consider how the courts have managed to continue functioning even during the height of the pandemic, there isn’t evidence that COVID-19 has fundamentally impacted the long-term growth of Family Law.

Restructuring & Insolvency, on the other hand, showed a significant decline at the beginning of the pandemic. This is likely due to the UK Government’s furlough scheme and other government support schemes, which held companies afloat that otherwise would have struggled. As these schemes begin to wind down, we would expect work in this area to pick up significantly.

Then there are the areas of law that are most impacted – in particular, Crime and Litigation. The metrics used in the GLP Index, such as volume of reported crimes, completed prosecutions and Magistrate Trials listed, show significant decline compared to pre-crisis levels. This decline is most significant when we look at Q2 2020, when many courts had to shut down for a significant period and case load fell. That said, this drop could be partly attributed to the underlying falling rates of crime as more people were forced to stay home.

When we presented these findings at the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference, participants were keen to understand the data further. How do these measures of demand across the legal market actually correlate with the real-life experience of barristers during the pandemic?

The next quarterly issue of the GLP Index will look at the work of barristers in significant depth, with a particular focus on the unique challenges facing the Bar, and the impact of societal and macro trends resulting from COVID-19.

For full detail on which Practice Areas are most impacted by COVID-19, click here to download the latest edition of the GLP Index.

How can barristers make use of the GLP Index?

Our hope is that the GLP Index provides a useful historical benchmark of growth for barristers to measure the impact of COVID-19 on legal activity. Based on these findings, here are some of our recommendations.

Benchmark your performance

  • How does your performance compare to the growth rate measured by the GLP Index?
  • What has been the real impact of COVID-19 on your work? Do the findings from the GLP Index correlate with this?
  • What is the short, medium, and long-term growth outlook for your practice area?

Take advantage of market conditions to grow your business

  • How well aligned is your work with our counter-cyclical Practice Areas?
  • Where will growth come from and are there opportunities to broaden your work, or adjacent faster-growing areas you could move into? 
  • Make use of tools and research to facilitate your diversification and fill any gaps in your knowledge.

If you need to make savings, consider where you should put your focus

  • Are there any unnecessary outbound costs you can strip out or delay?
  • If you need to make further cost savings, where should these fall? Can you avoid making cost savings in growing areas, where they may be counter-productive?
  • Are you forecasting your cash flow regularly? A regular cash flow forecast will help you make quick decisions and test scenarios as more information becomes available.

Trends and assumptions in this article were taken from the LexisNexis Gross Legal Product (GLP) study. Click below to download the full report and receive future legal market coverage.

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About the author:
Sarah leads marketing for the Academic and Bar legal communities at LexisNexis. She is passionate about customer-centric marketing and delivering data-based insights to help clients get the best use out of LexisNexis solutions and products, and ensure they succeed in their roles.

Prior to her role at LexisNexis, Sarah specialised in delivering large B2B marketing programmes across a number of industries, including Financial Services, Technology and Manufacturing.