The UK is the world’s second most valuable market for legal services and Brexit could provide a boost, an international market research business has reported.
The Legal Services Global Report, by the Business Research Company (BRC), estimates that the UK accounts for 6.5% of the global market. According to the report, the value of the UK legal services market grew from $39.7bn (£28.1bn) in 2013 to $54.8bn (£38.53bn) in 2017 and is second only to the US.
As part of its research, the BRC says it carries out thousands of interviews with senior executives and industry experts to assess the state of the legal industry. According to the report in 2016 the UK had 281,866 lawyers and 32,048 law firms. The ‘average lawyer’ earned $98,040 (£69,400) per year.
The report notes that the UK’s legal services market is ‘likely to be boosted’ by the complex legal implications of Brexit both 'at a state and company level’. It notes that the UK legal market is expanding owing to the ‘growth of London as an international jurisdiction’.
On a global scale, the report predicts that ‘online service providers’ are set to expand the legal market by nearly 20% over the next three years - though it notes that businesses are increasingly tempted to use services of ‘non-traditional’ law firms.
According to the research, more than half of in-house legal departments surveyed now consider buying legal services from alternative providers including LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and LawDepot.
Annual global spending on legal services is poised to top $1 trillion, the survey estimates, predicting growth from $849bn in 2017 to $1,011bn in 2021.