2018 Business Predictions: Andrew Cochrane Senior Partner Flint Bishop LLP

Andrew Cochrane Senior Partner and Head of Licensing at Flint Bishop LLP

Continuing our series, in which Business Link Magazine invites business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. We catch up with Andrew Cochrane Senior Partner and Head of Licensing at Flint Bishop LLP, who offers his ‘predictions’ for the year ahead.

Looking forward to 2018 – For this firm and for many of its clients 2017 has been a good year however, not universally so. Those in consumer facing sectors appear to have had a hard time and the housing market is definitely showing signs of slowing.

The fact that the UK economy has not suffered the suggested post Brexit “bust” must partly be due to the resilience of the European and worldwide economies, which have provided support and 2018 will depend much on how they continue to perform.

Goodness knows what would have happened if Brexit had taken place during a period of worldwide recession.

As Brexit dominates the news agenda it seems appropriate to offer some commentary on what I think will be the outcome.

I have always believed our relationship with Europe post Brexit will wind up being what I would call “euro light”. We will be bound by most of the rules with little say in the making of them.

Whether the whole exercise proves to be a costly and time-consuming divisive introspective indulgence, will depend on whether the country is successful in negotiating a deal which enables it to strike its own trade deals with other countries.

If we can, then the pain may arguably be just about worth the gain. 2018 will all be about the transitional arrangements and I would anticipate that not much will change for us for at least a couple of years post March 2019 – that seems to be the direction of travel.

I do not believe there will be a general election. The Government will limp on close to its full term with Mrs May at its head for the majority of it. Whilst Europe might be a divisive force for the Conservative Party, the Labour Party is very much a unifying one doing a very good job of binding both it and the DUP to it!

The economy will remain sluggish I am afraid, however I would like to think that good economic management of both this country’s economy and other major worldwide economies will mean that we can avoid the sorts of booms and busts of the past, meaning that mature economies can hopefully look forward to a period of moderate and sustained growth. This may be no bad thing.

Finally, President Trump – no he won’t be impeached! And England to reach the Semi-finals!