Pandemic leads to increase in take up of freelance lawyers

Following the initial freeze in recruitment activity at the start of the Pandemic, we are now seeing an increase in take up of contractors by most in-house legal teams, a trend that is echoed in this article by Corporate Counsel dated 31 July 2020 in relation to the US market. Using freelance lawyers on a contractor basis during this unprecedented period of uncertainty is proving to be an essential way of managing the short-term resourcing needs of many in-house legal teams whilst they remain unable to commit to hiring on a permanent basis. The wider economic uncertainty is just too great. We have seen many in-house legal teams are under immense resourcing pressure as a consequence of Pandemic-induced recruitment freezes, and that the cracks are starting to show. As the cost of an increased use of external law firms starts to mount, switching to contractor resource is proving not only more cost effective but also useful in terms of:

  1. the speed at which a contractor can be up and running as a natural extension of the legal team, within just 2 weeks;
  2. remote working having had a levelling effect: the geographic location of the contractor is no longer an issue which has extended the range of talent available;
  3. the calibre of lawyer available on a contractor basis is now higher than ever; and
  4. the breadth of knowledge that a contract lawyer can bring to the table. Often contract lawyers are several years more qualified than the role might require, which brings an im
  5. mense (and free) value add to the client.

This article was written by Amber Lewis, Client Relationship Director of Contax Law, and refers to an article by Kibkabe Araya on 31st July 2020 for Corporate Counsel.

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