I’m a final seat trainee solicitor and due to complete my training contract later this year. My heart was set on qualifying into my firm’s corporate team but as a result of the pandemic they’ve hardly got any work on at the moment. I’m now having a re-think and wondering which practice areas within the commercial sphere are more recession proof?

I think taking a more open-minded approach when picking preferred practice areas to specialise in following the completion of your training contract is extremely sensible in light of the current economic uncertainly. And you’re absolutely right about some areas being viewed as counter-cyclical. These typically include litigation (indeed some firms are still advising on the disputes that came about off the back of the 2008 financial crash) and of course restructuring and insolvency. But the current crisis has also seen an uptick in work for employment lawyers, and insurance specialists are also reporting increased levels of activities. Real estate is meanwhile incredibly quiet. Corporate is not as black and white because though the volume of M&A and capital markets deals has significantly declined in recent months many market observers predict that private equity will recover relatively quickly. That’s partly because there are some funds sitting on cash and will inevitably pounce on assets, which are likely to be sold-off at reduced prices.

Husnara Begum, Associate Coach & Contributing Editor