City law thriving as regional firms struggle, report reveals

By on

92% of Square Mile outfits grew last year, with lawyer numbers up 7.5%

Legal firms based in the City of London have had another bumper year, according to a report published today.

Ninety-two percent of participating City firms told researchers that their revenues were up. One third of these saw growth of more than 10%, with the average a still-healthy 7.6%. While 8% of Square Mile behemoths did see income fall, that compares to 23% in last year’s benchmarking and over a third in 2014.

And there’s good news for wannabe City slickers, as fee-earner headcount rose 7.4% in just one year among participating firms.

Partners shared 4.2% more profit on average than in 2016, but reported that price competition among City outfits is still stiff. Brexit and government policy generally are also seen as potential challenges in the years to come.

Over two thirds cited other professional service firms as posing the greatest threat to their dominance of the legal market. “Many firms have expressed nervousness over competition from other consultants and professional services firms entering the market, most notably the accountants”, according to Crowe Clark Whitehill.

The audit, tax and advisory firm includes the results in its law firm benchmarking exercise for 2017.

Regional firms fared less well, with one in five reporting a drop in income amid struggles to “attract and retain good quality staff”.

Read the report in full below:

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.