The UK’s laughable inability to cope with more than a light dusting of frozen water is a national embarrassment. But snow has its uses. The week’s shock 0.5% GDP fall is all down to the weather, we are told, and the same applies to gruesome retail sales figures.
Not everything is on a downward path, of course. The solicitors profession appears to be bucking the trend, at least in numerical terms. As we reported, there were 121,000 solicitors with practising certificates on 31 December, 7% more than a year earlier. Twenty years ago the Gazette’s circulation was 65,000; a decade ago 90,000. This profession is defying gravity by continuing to post an annual growth rate that bears comparison with the height of the ‘long boom’.
But is this an anomaly, perhaps explained in part by factors such as: the registration of a record number of training contracts by the SRA in 2008; and more unemployed solicitors retaining their PCs?
Perhaps. The figures are certainly counterintuitive. We and many other market observers have written extensively about redundancies and tackling the perceived oversupply of LPC graduates. Could it be that the profession is contracting, but this is not yet reflected in the raw data? We’ll see.
What we can say unequivocally is that the stats for 31 December 2011 will make very interesting reading.