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The legal, corporate, and tax & accounting markets: Reviewing 2020 & looking forward to 2021

William Josten  Senior Legal Industry Analyst, Thomson Reuters

William Josten  Senior Legal Industry Analyst, Thomson Reuters

In the first podcast for 2021 on the Thomson Reuters Institute Market Insights channel, we have assembled Thomson Reuters’ team of experts from within the Market Insights and Thought Leadership specialties to discuss the impacts of 2020 on law firms, corporate legal departments, and tax & accounting firms.

As the podcast makes clear, one of the impacts that rippled across the economy in 2020 was talent cultivation and management — and professional services firms and their clients were certainly not immune. The economy as a whole saw massive shifts in workforce dynamics as companies conducted furloughs and layoffs or rapidly shifted to remote working. As a result, much of this podcast focuses on how businesses managed through those changes, and how those effects will be felt in 2021, particularly in regard to the heightened focus placed on diversity, equity, and inclusion.


You can listen to the full podcast with the Thomson Reuters’ Market Insights and Thought Leadership teams here.


As we prepared for this podcast and shared our experiences working with various legal and tax & accounting firms and their clients, we took careful note of the similar manner in which so many of these businesses were impacted by these talent trends. This, in turn, provides organizations with a powerful opportunity to learn important lessons on confronting such challenges from entities that otherwise would have been considered too far afield to provide much in the way of example.

The same holds true for other changes that will be confronting professional services providers and their clients in the coming year. Indeed, the similarity of experiences from last year may provide some helpful insights into how to meet new challenges in the coming year. On the podcast, we also discuss how many changes to professional services delivery in 2021 will likely be driven by client demands for law firms, corporate legal departments, and tax & accounting firms; and how these types of services also are likely to experience some degree of change as the United States transitions to a new presidential administration and a new regulatory environment.

It is impossible to know with any certainty what 2021 will hold for professional services firms and their clients. However, by examining the events of last year and those that are likely to continue to impact these businesses going forward, we can provide at least a starting point for returning to, if not normal, at least a point of stasis as we move into the new year.

Episode transcript.

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