Growth in the UK legal service market will next year reach levels not seen since the 2008 downturn, the Law Society predicts today. Its latest market forecast predicts growth in real turnover of 3.8% in 2014, jumping to 4.9% in 2015. That contrasts with 3.5% in 2013 and just 1.5% in 2012.

Net export growth, hit this year by the strength of the pound, will grow from 3% this year to 7.9% in 2015, boosted by growth in both the advanced and emerging economies. 

The main factors driving growth in legal services’ turnover in 2013 were the improvement in the performance of the UK business sector and increase in housing market activity. These are expected to continue to be significant drivers of growth in legal services’ real turnover in 2014 and 2015, the Society said. 

Law Society president Andrew Caplen (pictured) described the figures as good news for solicitors. ‘If household incomes rise as predicted, our members with clients buying and selling property or needing legal advice for their businesses will benefit from housing market and business activity,’ he said. ‘High export predictions for 2015 will be welcomed by firms of all sizes having a role in meeting the increased demand for international transactions.’

However, the Law Society added a word of caution about the figures, as they are based on forecasts of households’ real incomes growing by 2% in 2014 and 2.9% in 2015. Lower actual growth would affect the legal services market in turn.