Press releases

Boost for law firms in the first quarter

15 September 2017

  • Top 100 law firms achieve average fee income increase of 8.5% in Q1 FY17;
  • Increase in fees per fee earner of 7%;
  • Firms forecast fee income growth of 5% for year to April 2018.

The top 100 UK law firms achieved an average increase in fee income of 8.5% for the quarter ended 31 July 2017, according to Deloitte’s latest Quarterly Legal Sector Survey. The fee income increase was primarily driven by growth in fees per fee earner of 7%.

Jeremy Black, professional services partner at Deloitte, said: “Fee income has increased for firms across the different size categories. While the comparative quarter in the prior year was relatively weak as it included the period of the Brexit vote, this has been a strong quarter.”

Firms across all size categories reported an increase in chargeable hours per fee earner, with firms in the 26-50 and 51-100 size categories reporting the largest increases of 4% and 5% respectively. For firms in the 1-10 and 11-25 size categories chargeable hours per fee earner growth was lower, albeit still strong at 3% and 3.5% respectively, however top line fee income growth was very strong at 7% and 10.5%. This was driven by improved pricing and the impact of foreign exchange movements.

Black said: “Whilst there continues to be a wide divergence of performance for firms in the survey, the overall picture this quarter is a very positive one with firms achieving strong levels of growth.”


About Deloitte
In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NWE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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