Following periods of great uncertainty in the markets such as the dot-com bubble bursting and the global financial meltdown in 2008, some firms emerge stronger and some will struggle and perhaps fail. In the current climate following Brexit, you need to make sure you are in the right place for your career to grow. Here are our top 10 questions to ask yourself:
1. Is your firm in strong financial health or reliant on a large overdraft? Do you know the answer as some firms are more open and transparent than others with financial information?
2. What does your firm specialise and focus on? Is it heavily reliant on transactional work such as corporate, finance and real estate (which may get affected the most based on previous periods of uncertainty) or is your firm well leveraged to ride through storms? Do you know the turnover breakdown between different practice areas? Equally is the firm over reliant on a few key clients or there is a broader range?
3. Does size matter? The larger the firm, the more bureaucratic and larger overheads it will carry and it may be slower to adapt to a rapidly changing legal market place. However, it may be that there is good support through international offices or from the US which may protect the firm if London is adversely affected.
4. Where are you on the partnership ladder and what are your prospects in the next 12-24 months? Is Brexit going to be another excuse not to move your career forward? Is profitability going to be affected?
5. How is your firm managed? Are you clear on the strategy? How much information are you given?
6. How are your clients feeling about Brexit? Does your firm’s hourly rates and flexibility on charging suit your clients now and going forward? How supported will you be if your clients are instructing you on less work?
7. How much work comes in from other departments? Are you benefitting from the firm more generally in terms of cross selling and conversely are you benefitting from work your clients deliver to other departments?
8. Are you surrounded by other driven and committed partners who are working towards the same goal? What has the attrition rate looked like over the last two years of more certain economic times?
9. Where does your firm sit in market? Where is its centre of gravity and HQ? How exposed is it to mergers/takeovers?
10. Is there more risk in staying than leaving?