Law firms enjoy robust third quarter
09 March 2015
- Average increase of 3% in fees per fee earner;
- UK top 100 law firms increased fee income by 7%, driven by consolidation.
The UK’s top 100 law firms achieved a fee income increase of 7% in the quarter ended 31 January 2015, compared with the same period last year. According to results from Deloitte’s Quarterly Legal Sector Survey, continued consolidation in the sector has contributed to this growth, particularly amongst firms ranked between 51 and 100 by size.
However, markets remain challenging in certain overseas jurisdictions in which some of the UK’s larger firms operate. The impact of this, combined with exchange rate movements, has negatively impacted sterling fee income. This has led to an overall fall in fee income for some of the larger firms.
Firms outside the UK top ten have achieved strong increases in fees per earner this quarter, with average growth of 4%. Given chargeable hours per fee earner have remained fairly static, this suggests that there has been some increase in the hourly rates that firms are achieving.
Jeremy Black, partner in Deloitte’s professional practices team, said “This quarter’s survey results are in line with the performance seen in the previous two quarters, indicating a relatively stable environment for firms operating in the UK. Outside of the UK however certain markets remain challenging. Sentiment for the remainder of the year to 30 April 2015 is reasonably positive, with average growth expectations between 6% and 7% for the full year.”
Notes to editors
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.