The North: The credit forecast
The credit crunch has apparently done little, so far, to change law firms' fortunes - or so they would have us believe. But it has noticeably changed the mood among lawyers based in the north of England. Most managing partners, while remaining cautiously optimistic, will admit to being concerned about what happens after the end of this financial year. DLA Piper Sheffield managing partner Stephen Sly sits with the optimists on the effects of the credit crunch: "If we are not careful we will talk ourselves into a recession," he says. "What is happening is a necessary and overdue adjustment to an overheated market." Manchester's Ian Austin, managing partner of Halliwells, displays typical northern pragmatism, saying: "I am not a pessimist, but I am a realist. The factors that were prevalent during the downturns in the early 1990s and 2001 are prevalent now. Let's wait and see what happens."
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