Over-valued and falling
Much about the turbulence that has buffeted financial markets in recent weeks has been shocking and unpredictable. But there is one element that has had a dramatic impact on law firms that was not that hard to foresee - the fallout from lawyers' exposure to property.After all, by any reasonable measure, real estate valuations were unsustainable from 2005 onwards and were heading for a sharp correction. True, it would have taken a law firm leader of rare insight to have guessed that a global credit squeeze would turn correction into collapse. Nevertheless, if dinner-party pundits could spot that the UK's love affair with real estate had got out of hand, perhaps some law firms should have had the wit to start easing back their property exposure several years back.
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