In Legal Business’ last Global 100 issue, we reported on a ‘relatively benign’ 2018/19 for the world’s top 100 law firms compared to the tumultuous three years that preceded it. The headwinds caused by increased protectionism in the US and ongoing acrimony between the UK and Europe had subsided somewhat after firms recovered from the initial shock of an infamous 2016. The result was an industry enjoying a sustained period of serious growth and momentum.
2020, however, brought an abrupt end to this period of plenty. If a global health pandemic that plunged the world’s largest economies into self-imposed lockdown was not challenging enough, there was also a drama-laden US presidential election. And buried amid this chaos, it is easy to forget the UK is marking the anniversary of Boris Johnson’s landslide electoral victory of last December, which mandated a potential no-deal exit from the European Union. At the time of writing, chances of a deal appear no better than 50/50.