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Industry watchers say law firms have become less reliant on bank debt over the past decade, as they explore other funding options. Often, that means raising capital from partners, or turning to other, less common sources.
A recent examination of major law firm failures showed how expansion and revenue gains can sometimes mask the struggles of law firms saddled by massive debt. Eventually, the debt load becomes too heavy, choking off growth and hastening collapse. (see, “Warning Signs: How Big Law’s Greatest Failures Unfolded,” The American Lawyer (Oct. 29, 2019).
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The London Interbank Offered Rate has long been the global basis for agreements that include a variable interest rate component. However, LIBOR would be replaced by other benchmarks by the end of 2021. Key to assessing risk of exposure, quantifying the financial impact, developing remediation plans and communicating material information to stakeholders will be the identification, analysis and remediation of LIBOR-based contracts.
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The economic downturn that is projected to come out of the shutdowns mandated due to COVID-19 is likely to be more wide-ranging than the Great Recession of 2008 in light of the non-discriminative impact of the virus. Given this outlook, now is a critical time for companies to reassess their business and finances so that they can be prepared for the future.
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