UK Legal Services Revenue Declines in 2016 for First Time Since the Financial Crisis

08 Mar 2017

The UK legal services market (including private practice firms, barristers, patent agents, and other legal services providers) was valued at an estimated £31.5bn in 2016 (Source: ONS) and this is a decrease from 2015. This is only the second annual decrease in the last decade with the previous one occurring during the financial crisis in 2009.

The large law firms continued to see revenue growth  in 2016: the top 100 UK law firms posted a combined revenue increase of over 4% and their combined total revenue past the £20bn market for the first time (including overseas revenue). It has been in the medium and small law firm sectors where revenues have been hit.

The personal injury market continues to be the consumer legal market facing the greatest pressure with further regulatory changes introduced at the start of 2017. Other consumer sectors are under pressure from the spread of fixed fees, more competition, and increases in court/tribunal fees. Major cuts in legal aid are impacting on various consumer law markets.

Further data and analysis on the latest trends in the UK legal services market from IRN’s latest annual market report – UK Legal Services Market 2017. More details on our Reports page.


IRN Team

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