City law thriving as regional firms struggle, report reveals

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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:

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Who are you?



From a brief review of his online profile, young Conor appears to be a budding freelance writer who writes about legal affairs, Brexit and political statistics for a number of outlets. He is follicly challenged, is of Irish heritage and has been known to play hockey. He appears to enjoy a bit of CSR and once taught English in India. He once organised a homework club and continues to list this on his LinkedIn profile, despite being advised to remove it.



What about all the new regional hubs being created by City firms – aren’t they thriving?



Question if this geezer had been to Bristol, Leeds or Manchester before writing this.



Yah, too bloody right and all. What kind of self-respecting business would pluck some average ‘firm’ from the arse-end of nowhere to run any kind of deal..



Geordie gobshite


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