Over the past decade, the legal sector has seen significant growth. Now as we enter into 2020, the industry continues to grow at a steady pace. So, what’s driving the growth in the legal sector and which areas are seeing the biggest changes?
How has the legal sector grown?
The legal sector is continuing to go from strength to strength according to a new report. TheCityUk’s report revealed that the sector’s revenue is growing steadily by 6% each year. Its growth has doubled in the past decade and shows no signs of slowing down.
There are around 12,000 law firms in the UK. One of the main things which has changed over the years, is the business model of these firms. At one time, partnerships were the most common business model for the legal sector. However, now over half of the firms set up are incorporated companies.
Brexit has had very little impact on the profession so far. The sector reportedly contributed a total of £26.8 billion in 2017 to the economy. There are now approximately 338,000 people who work within the legal sector. Of these, two thirds are based outside of London. Manchester employs the largest number of legal professionals outside of the capital, with 13,000 people employed in the sector.
Interestingly, the UK’s legal sector is the biggest in Europe. It is also the second largest in the world, coming second to the US.
Which areas have experienced the most growth?
So, which areas of law have seen the biggest growth? The development of technology has helped to introduce a new sector over the past decade. Lawtech is the number one area which is seeing the biggest growth.
Lawtech includes technologies which supplement, support or replace traditional legal services. It includes things such as document automation, smarter legal contracts and predictive AI. The sector includes both providers of legal technology, alongside law firms who use these services.
There has also been growth in the negligence sector and the number of medical negligence solicitors. This could be down to issues within the healthcare sector and increased awareness about expectations from healthcare professionals. With the internet at everyone’s fingertips it’s easier to determine whether you have a claim for negligence.
The future of the legal sector
The sector is already seeing consistent growth, so what can we expect in the near future? There is expected to be an increase in freelance solicitors, alongside increased transparency within the profession. Lawtech is also expected to continue to dominate the industry.
As you can see, the legal sector has undergone some major changes over the past decade. It is now one of the leading sectors in the UK, with a rise in demand seen throughout the country rather than in individual areas.