Q: Since there has been a resurgence in Covid cases during the past months, does your firm see the light at the end of the tunnel with regards to business as usual?
A: Like many firms, we remain cautiously optimistic that the worst of Covid-19 is behind us, but I’m not sure we will ever return to “business as usual” if that means everyone working from the office five days a week. Remote work, Zoom meetings and virtual court appearances have already become the “new normal,” and I don’t see any indication of those things changing for professional services firms. I do think there will be a pick-up in business travel for pitches and business development but less so for client meetings.
Q: Have the original protocols put into place during the early stages of Covid, remain in place or have newer less aggressive ones been adopted?
A: For the past several months, all of our offices have been open for business for those attorneys, staff and guests who have been vaccinated. So on any given day, we have people who choose to work in the office and others that prefer to work from home. Ultimately, where one works is secondary to the quality of the work product. For more junior attorneys, interaction with each other and more senior attorneys has been and remains vital to career development. Building a cohesive work culture and avoiding feeling isolated or burnt-out is critical. But it also doesn’t mean having to be in the office Monday-Friday. Cliché as it sounds, flexibility and conforming the way we work to best serve our clients remains paramount.
Q: It has been written, lockdowns as a result of Covid have destroyed businesses which were faltering, but they’ve also given a boost to some of the strongest tech firms. Does your firm see this trend with the tech firms you represent or deal with?
A: We have definitely seen a trend where technology companies have been able to grow and do well in the current working environment. But surprisingly, many of our clients generally have seen increased revenue and market share despite all of the economic headwinds posed by Covid-19. Some of this is the result of the PPP loans but in most cases, increased consumer demand continues to drive business growth for supermarkets, sporting goods stores, home repair and décor, and even manufacturing. In fact, our M&A lawyers have never been busier with new deals, while the anticipated restructuring boom never really emerged.
Q: The legal team at RCCB is diverse with varied backgrounds, as stated on your website. In what practice area do you anticipate the greatest growth for your firm as we head into 2022?
A: From a parochial point of view, I’d like to say the Restructuring group! And given the possibility of persistent inflation, supply chain disruption and higher interest rates, that may be the case. However, I still expect M&A and other change of control transactions to be the market leader as we head into 2022. We have also seen a noticeable pick up in litigation, and with courts starting to resume jury trials, I would expect to see that trend continue as well. We are fortunate at RCCB to have a variety of practice areas that span the business cycle and a culture that encourages entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary practice areas. For example, while traditional bankruptcy work has been slower than expected, I’ve been able to keep busy doing debt financing on the lender and borrower side but we all know that business cycles can change rapidly and disrupt expectations. If retailers don’t have goods on the shelves for the Holiday season and consumers are hit with $5 gas and outrageous heating bills all bets are off.
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