Recent research from the Law Society revealed that the UK’s legal sector grew by 8% last year and contributed £26bn to the country’s economy. An increase that can be partially attributed to London becoming the international ‘jurisdiction of choice’ for battling Russian oligarchs and feuding ex-husbands and wives quibbling over divorce settlements.
An estimated 370,000 people are now employed within the UK legal sector, nearly two thirds of which work for solicitors firms, according to an analysis by Oxford Economics and Cambridge Econometrics. The overall expansion has come even despite extensive cuts to legal aid, which has forced many claimants, particularly those in custody cases, to represent themselves in court.
The analysis also indicated that for every 1% of growth within the legal services sector, 8,000 new jobs are created and £379m is added to the economy. Export earnings have reached 5.6% per year over the last decade and contribute £3.6bn towards total exports annually.
The new ‘Future of Legal Services’ report indicates that every extra £1 of turnover generated in the sector stimulates a further £1.39 in the wider economy. It also revealed that the legal services market has expanded at an average of 3.3% annually over the last decade, far outstripping the UK’s overall economic growth which averaged out at 1.2% over the same period.
Such a high level of growth is exceptionally good news for professionals in the sector and as Catherine Dixon, Chief Executive of the Law Society highlights “The provision of expert legal services is fundamental to the success of business and commerce and underpins the very fabric of our society.” It is somewhat unsurprising that sentiment in the legal services market remains overwhelmingly positive and such high levels of growth will only increase opportunities for legal professionals.