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The global economic future may have looked far from certain a year ago, as we started emerging from the pandemic, but few could have predicted the range and depth of the challenges we’re facing today.

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine was obviously the least anticipated and remains the most significant of them. While a human tragedy above all, the war has reached into markets around the world and sent shockwaves through the very structure of the global economy.

If the global markets have sneezed, local economies have indeed caught a cold, and the UK seems to be suffering more than most, teetering now on the brink of recession.

These fiscal problems inevitably create legal ones, as disputes emerge over contracts, accounts fall into arrears and the new pressures generate conflict between employers and their staff.

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see demand for legal protection rising. The pandemic created new legal problems and posed many legal questions that legal expenses insurance providers were able to answer.

Companies have emerged from the pandemic with a heightened awareness of potential legal risks, but better understand how to protect themselves. As Andy Talbot explains, independent research that we published in the spring shows that brokers have seen rising demand for legal protection from commercial clients and expect that trend to continue.

Many of those clients are making good use of the cover already, as the unusual array of commercial pressures is leading to an increased number of contract disputes, in particular. Shortages of materials and labour are making it difficult for businesses to fulfil their contractual obligations, and rapidly rising costs are wreaking havoc with previously agreed prices.

Families are also facing increased legal risk, especially around their employment rights, as companies come under growing pressure and, inevitably, some will make mistakes. We take a look at a couple of recent employment cases which, while far from typical, show the lengths to which ARAG and our partner law firms will go for policyholders and the outcomes that we achieve for them.

While employment problems are often the first to surface in a recession, managing and recovering debts to a business can quickly become an onerous but very important task. ARAG policyholders have access to a range of tools that we break down, in this issue.

We’re also taking this opportunity to introduce some new faces in our Corporate Sales team, as well as ARAG UK’s first HR Manager. These are exceptionally busy and challenging times for legal expenses providers and for access to justice in general. Our team at ARAG is growing to meet them.

Disclaimer - all information in this article was correct at time of publishing.