A report from lobby group TheCityUK forecasts that the combined fee income of UK law firms soared 6% last year to £32.4bn – but the rate of increase is predicted to have fallen.
In 2013 total revenue grew 8.4% to a record £30.6bn, the strongest growth rate since the economic crash of 2007/08.
According to The CityUK’s UK Legal Services 2015 report, launched at the Global Law Summit today, the sector’s contribution to the UK economy rose 9.4% in 2013 to £22.6bn, or 1.6% of GDP. The rise over the decade from 2003 was 65%, with the legal sector’s trade surplus doubling over the same period to £3.1bn.
The report underlines London’s reputation as the leading international centre for dispute resolution.
Over 80% of claims issued in 2013 in the Commercial Court involved at least one party from outside England and Wales, and over 24,000 commercial and civil disputes were resolved in the same year through arbitration, mediation and adjudication. About 40% of all governing law in global corporate arbitrations is English law.
‘The sector is highly competitive and other jurisdictions are vying to take London’s position,’ commented Chris Cummings, TheCityUK’s chief executive. ‘We must ensure the UK remains the jurisdiction of choice for international business.’