Smaller UK firms are bracing for a tough year, with Brexit identified as the main cause of concern for the UK’s regional and independent players despite their lack of EU presence, exclusive UK 200 research has shown.

The results of an attitudinal survey carried out for the UK 200: the Independents shows that while only one of the 100 firms, Wiggin, has a physical presence in the EU, Brexit was the main cause of an overwhelmingly negative outlook.

Almost three-quarters of the Independents giving their outlook on trading conditions in 2017/18 said they agreed entirely or to an extent that trading would be tougher than last year. Many said Brexit was the cause of this negative outlook.

In another question about the biggest risk to financial results in the current year, 57 per cent of respondents cited Brexit as the most significant risk. Cyber risk was the second most significant risk.

One firm said: “Uncertainty remains as Brexit discussions continue. There is a lack of confidence in the decisions being made supposedly to bolster the economy and drive innovation and growth in certain sectors.”

Another added: “The uncertainty over Brexit will have a filter-down effect on commercial clients and the residential property market. The latter has a knock-on impact on divorce and probates in terms of delays and price and hence fees.”

The full results of the attitudinal survey are included in the UK 200: the Independents report.

The Lawyer UK 200: The Independents report is one of five reports in The UK 200 series. To purchase any of these reports please contact either Gilberto Esgaio on +44 207 970 4191 or or Letitia Austin on +44 207 970 4662 or