New year, new cheer

January 9, 2014

Five reasons why lawyers should cheer the heck up in 2014

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You’re entitled to feel down – you’re back at work and wondering where all the festive cheer went. You’re two stone heavier, your liver is irreparably damaged and your spouse is filing for divorce after that incident with the UPS delivery guy under the mistletoe.

But don’t despair. 2014 will be a great year for lawyers. Says who? Says us, and substantiation is available below.

1. Tax Attacks

Despite a bit of political shilly-shallying over the last weeks of 2013, David Cameron has made it pretty clear that he’d like to reduce the top level of income tax. Maybe by as much as 5p in the pound.

Good news for all of you top earners: lawyers trousering £200K per annum can expect extra take-home to the tune of £10K. That’s enough to buy the Nanny a decent used Golf, or to take the wife/husband/mistress to Meribel where you can traverse the slopes on skis encrusted with genuine Swarovski crystals.

2. Ligation accumulation

As Matt Byrne points out in the new year’s edition of The Lawyer, it’ll be another good year for Litigation. As the mag points out, ‘the total fee income derived from disputes among the world’s 50-largest practices now totals $24.3bn’ and that figure doesn’t look like it’s heading south at any time soon.

All of which is good news for the coffers of Litigation departments, but other lawyers might reasonably expect trickle-down benefits. Such as more half-empty cans of Red Bull in the toilets, and more litigators standing rounds of Jagermeister down the local Balls Brothers.

3. The World Cup

Theo Walcott might be out of it, but there’s still the greatest spectacle on earth (apart from the Olympics, the Super Bowl, The latest Stones tour and Flamingoland) to look forward to. Offices are great places to be when the World Cup’s on. There’ll be sweepstakes, late night parties in the atrium for that quarter final in which England go out on penalties to South Korea, and the constant creativity of the excuses used by people too tired to come in after staying up til 4am watching Uruguay draw 0-0 with Namibia.

Start sleeping with the Senior Partner now if you want to ride shotgun on their ‘unavoidable’ client junket to Rio.

4. Capital Growth

London continues to buzz. Only this week, Reuters reported that it ‘ranks as the top city for foreign real estate investment opportunity, beating out last year’s winner, New York’. This (theoretically) means not just more money for property lawyers, but also more deals, more HNW individuals and more growth in the market value of your modest flat in Wandsworth.

If you don’t live in London, you might not feel this benefit as much as others. But you will be able to complain loudly about ‘those London types not knowing they’re born’, what with their rocket salads, moccacinos and markets where basic goods such as an apple cost about 654p.

5. Merger Mania

If nothing else, there’s probably a merger to look forward to, as your firm will almost certainly join ranks with another before 2014 shambles out. A merger is generally a good experience, if you can ignore the obvious downsides such as relocation, politics and client conflict.

The way to think of a merger is as a marriage to which all the attendees are brides and grooms. Afterwards, there’ll be the joy of learning to hate someone you were once enamoured by, changing your name and opening lots of envelopes, albeit ones containing notification that you’re now at risk of redundancy. AB  

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