Law Firms Predict Increase in Real Estate, Transactional Work in 2014
As the economy improves -- particularly in South Florida -- law firm managers predict a welcome uptick in real estate and transactional work in 2014.
Additionally, Miami law firm managers are expecting another burgeoning practice area this year: international arbitrations, which are starting to arrive in Miami in strong numbers.
That's the good news. On the down side, firms universally are preparing for a slide in bankruptcy work this year. And it's the same old story for litigation: steady and strong.
"I think at this point we see the economy is going to continue on the uptick, which means that real estate will continue to pick up and bankruptcy filings will stay level if not decline," said Jeff Schneider, managing partner of Miami-based Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman. "And litigation seems to be fairly constant whether times are good or times are bad."
Adds founding partner David Levine with a laugh: "Litigation is always strong — this is South Florida, after all."
Byrd "Biff" Marshall, president and CEO of GrayRobinson, sees the same things in his crystal ball, saying that corporate transactional work has only recently started to improve.
"Corporate has been the slowest to turn around," he said, adding, "I do think real estate will continue to improve, and bankruptcy will continue softening."
Marshall, like other law firm heads, attributes the improvement to banks starting to let go of their cash and hand out loans somewhat freely again for the first time since the recession.
Marshall is so bullish on the economy — particularly in South Florida — that he is predicting 5 to 10 percent growth in GrayRobinson's revenues in 2014.
Miami-based Shutts and Bowen is painting a rosy picture for 2014, too, after witnessing a continued uptick in business loans for both business expansion and construction industries, according to managing partner Joe Bolton.