Intapp Strategic Consulting market brief: COVID-19 business planning

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt globally. Multiple industries — transport, hospitality, consumer goods, and more — are seeing significant financial impacts requiring them to adapt their businesses. Many law firms are already seeing immediate knock-on effects from shifts in client behavior (e.g., different legal services needed), and the medium- to long-term impacts will need to be assessed to inform business plans.

Law firms need to assess their business fundamentals and realign efforts to the new demands of their clients

  • Shifts in client spending patterns are likely, and law firms should be on the front foot to determine the legal implications of the pandemic on their clients and offer different services to accommodate them.
  • Firms will need to rapidly analyze shifts in market demand (by industry and by practice) and the resulting impact on the size and shape of the firm’s practices and operations.
  • Determining this shift will help firms plan immediate as well as medium- to long-term business activities to drive productivity and effective expenditure, making every penny count.

Many law firms have already introduced immediate interventions in response to COVID-19.

  • Mobilizing task forces and ensuring the safety of their people has been foundational.
  • Furthermore, ongoing engagement with clients and supporting the adoption of remote ways of working is helping to sustain client care and productivity.

What steps firms can take now

Looking ahead, many indications suggest the impact of the pandemic will continue for at least two quarters, and therefore law firms should start thinking about the following actions:

  • Optimizing the role and remit of their COVID-19 task force:
    • Ensure the task force is focused not only on providing initial guidance on client support and operational impacts of remote working, but also on informing medium-term business planning for practices and services.
  • Planning and managing medium-term business implications:
    • Assess impacts of shifting economic landscape on the firm’s existing client base, revenue streams, relevant service offerings, and the associated financial consequences to the business.
    • Review and realign business structure to enhance the productivity of the firm’s cost base.
    • Create a forward-looking plan across short and medium-term horizons.
    • Communicate with key stakeholder groups and give them clarity on anticipated changes and how the firm can collectively adapt to the changes.
    • Identify and mobilize longer term opportunities to engage clients and employees within the new norm.

How Intapp Strategic Consulting is helping firms

  • COVID-19 business planning: Develop a strategy for accommodating shifts in client spending and the associated impact on a firm’s practices, services, and supporting business operations.
  • Scenario modeling: Determine the financial impacts to a firm’s clients and its business as a result of the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 task force optimization: Accelerate a firm’s preparedness for executing on business plans by assessing the completeness, capability, and role of its task force against best practices.

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