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Paul Browne shares an article on stress testing and cash management as a means to help business survive another COVID-19 shutdown.  

Cash Management and Stress Testing

The full force of the COVID-19 pandemic is now hitting the UK with most businesses either completely shut down or working well below capacity. Most law firms are in the latter category. The key challenge for managing partners, after ensuring the safety and well-being of staff, is to ensure the firm survives this hiatus, which couldn’t have come at a worse time with most firms year-ends fast approaching. 

They need to ensure their firm’s cash flow is secure, that they stay within their credit facilities, and that the firm is able to trade profitably, if not immediately, then in the near future to ensure compliance with the SRA Code of Conduct for Firms, specifically:

2.4 You actively monitor your financial stability and business viability.

3.6 You notify the SRA promptly of any serious financial difficulty relating to you.

Firms should prioritise the collection and conservation of cash.

However, this can only effectively be done against the backdrop of an up to date cash flow forecast which is regularly stress-tested for a number of different scenarios, including the loss of significant time recording at least over the next three months, a dearth of new client instructions and clients, similarly, experiencing severe financial pressures, either unable to settle bills or looking for more favourable terms.

 

Key points include:

  • Collecting and conserving cash
  • Talking to your bank
  • Alternative funding

 

Read the full article, COVID-19 Pandemic-Survival Steps for Law Firms, on LinkedIn.

 

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Paul Browne with Lexington. Paul is combines a wealth of experience in international blue-chip companies with an intellectual drive, curiosity for data, and experience in helping high-performing complex executives get outstanding results. He has lived and worked extensively across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He lives with his author wife, (N.M. Browne) in Richmond-on-Thames, UK – useful for Heathrow.

Paul is an Associate at the Møller Institute at the University of Cambridge and also operates as an independent strategy consultant. Following a highly successful career within consulting then banking, he served in various law firm CEO and finance roles, and now focusses on consultancy to professional service firms.

After starting his strategy career with Bain & Company, Paul spent a decade in senior positions with Standard Chartered where he led the Board recommendation in the early 90s to exit the UK, US and Continental office network to focus on the fast growing markets of Asia Pacific and South Asia- a strategy that was not only ahead of its time, but resulted on SCB being the best performing FTSE 100 share in the year following the strategy’s announcement. He also led a global crisis team centred on India as well as being Regional Head, Sub-Saharan Africa. He then moved to Barclays Bank as Director for Group Strategy.

Paul completed his MBA jointly from Manchester Business School and HEC, Paris, also attending an executive programme at Harvard Business School which entailed study at Harvard, in China, and in Singapore as well as analyzing opportunities in India. His undergraduate degree was in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Trinity College, Oxford. In addition, he also has a first class Oxford University degree equivalent in Archaeology.

Paul takes a data-driven approach to solving problems, informed by his wide experience and a strong thirst for new insights and approaches to analysing and solving business and people challenges.