As many as 3,000 law firms could be forced to close or merge over the next few years after the conveyancing bubble bursts and the recession really kicks in, a leading law firm consultant has warned.
Viv Williams said many firms had used Covid loans to pay for this year's indemnity insurance and were "riding it out, hoping things will improve".
However, he said the conveyancing "bubble" would burst when the stamp duty holiday ended next year, and the government Covid loans would have to be paid back in the second quarter.
"Family and conveyancing have gone well but company and commercial have collapsed, along with commercial property."
Mr Williams, who founded Viv Williams Consulting this summer, said the whiplash reforms in April next year would add to the challenges facing law firms, along with the prospect of another big hike in indemnity insurance premiums.
"I think about 3,000 law firms will not survive the next few years [there are currently some 10,000 in all]. They will either close or merge.