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Top UK law firms see revenues hit nearly £29bn

The top 100 law firms in the UK have also continued to grow total headcount with year-on-year growth of 3% and total employment now exceeding 77,000.

The top 100 UK law firms hit revenues of nearly £29bn in 2020/21 which has more than doubled over the past decade, according to TheCityUK’s tenth annual report on the UK’s legal services sector.

The report revealed that total revenue from legal activities in the UK was £36.8bn in 2019 and £17.8bn in the first half of 2020, and much of the revenue is generated by the top 100 UK law firms.

Additionally, the UK accounted for a third of Western European legal services fee revenue and approximately 7% of global legal services fee revenue, which totalled approximately $713bn (£539bn) last year.

TheCityUK also revealed that the number and proportion of in-house lawyers has increased. The UK’s top 100 law firms have continued to grow total headcount with year-on-year growth of 3% and total employment now exceeding 77,000.

Meanwhile, 24% of all solicitors in England and Wales worked in-house last year, up 16% compared to a decade earlier, and Scotland witnessed a 32% increase in Scotland-based solicitors working in-house in 2021, up from 22% in 2010.

Miles Celic, CEO of TheCityUK, said: “Supported by the continued growth of leading UK-based law firms, which provide unparalleled training and experience to young lawyers, the UK is able to maintain deep pools of legal talent and retain its status as one of the world’s leading centres for legal services and dispute resolution.

“In the midst of dealing with challenges related to Covid, the UK-based legal services sector has shown great resilience while also continuing to play a key role in helping businesses in the UK and across the world negotiate the crisis, acting as trusted advisers and assisting firms to reorganise their affairs accordingly.”

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