United Kingdom Legal Services Market Report 2021: Backlogs Exacerbated by COVID-19 - Market to Grow by 4.4% in 2021 and Then at a Higher Rate in 2022

Dublin, May 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "UK Legal Services Market Report 2021" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The UK legal services market (including private practice firms, barristers, patent agents, and other legal services providers) was valued at almost £37bn in 2020, unchanged from 2019. In the first three-quarters of 2020 revenue decreased by 1.5% compared to the previous year mainly due to a decline in the first lockdown. In the last quarter of 2020, revenue increased.

The number of law firms in the UK stands at just below 12,000. In England and Wales incorporated companies now account for half of all law firm business models. So far, COVID-19 has not led to significant numbers of law firm closures but 2021 is likely to see more as furlough ends in Autumn and restructuring in some sectors gathers pace.

By far the largest segment in the UK market is legal work for business and commercial affairs (including commercial property) accounting for 46% of total UK market revenue and most of the high-value work in this segment is undertaken by the larger law firms. The largest segment in the consumer law market is personal injury/accident/medical negligence work valued at £4bn although this sector has seen a decline in revenue in 2020. Family law and employment law are the next largest segments, followed by wills and probate and conveyancing.

The fifth annual set of results from our survey of 222 legal practitioners is included in this report. These practitioners work in four consumer law areas: conveyancing; family law; personal injury; wills and probate. A majority of practitioners in most consumer legal sectors reported volume growth in the last 12 months although the "last 12 months" covers a five month period before the pandemic and seven months post-March 2020. However, the one practice area where workload decreased significantly in the last 12 months was personal injury.

Over half of all firms are expecting volume growth in the next 12 months but there are clear differences between practice areas. Large increases are expected in wills and probate and family law. Some way behind is conveyancing and the difficulties in the personal injury sector are expected to continue.

The publisher expects the legal services market to grow by 4.4% in 2021 and then at a higher rate in 2022.

Many of the moves to home working and virtual consultations with clients, which spread across the market as a result of the pandemic, are expected to stay in place in the longer term: 40% of practitioners interviewed are expecting to see some of their physical office space reduced or closed in 2021 and 2022.

Key Topics Covered:

1. Executive Summary

2. Market Structure

  • Most legal advisors are regulated
  • Law firm segments
  • Almost 12,000 law firms in the UK
  • Over 400 chambers
  • Licensed conveyancers
  • Patent and trademark attorneys
  • Cost lawyers
  • Alternative business structures (ABS)
  • Alternative legal services providers
  • Other providers of legal services
  • Personnel numbers

3. Market Developments

  • CMA 2020 review of the legal services market
  • Review of legal services - some achievements but too many unmet needs
  • Year one independent evaluation of SRA transparency rules
  • Review recommends that all legal providers should be regulated
  • CMA reports on the Scottish legal system
  • PI reforms here in 2021
  • Alternative legal services providers becoming mainstream
  • Court and tribunal backlogs exacerbated by COVID-19

4. They Key Players

  • The Top 100
  • The Top 10
  • Acquisitions and mergers
  • Top 5 UK law firms - profiles
  • DLA Piper International LLP
  • Clifford Chance LLP
  • Allen & Overy LLP
  • Linklaters LLP
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Selected other legal services providers
  • Listed Law Firms
  • DWF
  • Gateley (Holdings) PLC
  • The Ince Group PLC
  • Keystone Law Group PLC
  • Knights PLC
  • Rosenblatt Ltd
  • Consumer law firms
  • Cooperative Legal Services
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • Simpson Millar LLP
  • Slater & Gordon Lawyers

5. Market Size and Trends

  • Market revenue unchanged in 2020
  • UK exports of legal services increase to almost £7bn

6. Market Segmentation

  • Corporate, financial and commercial law
  • Overview
  • M&A activity
  • Company insolvencies
  • Commercial Courts
  • International litigation and dispute resolution
  • Personal injury
  • Overview
  • The number of cases decreases in 2019/20
  • Number of personal injury claims heard in court declines again to an annual low
  • Commercial and residential property, including conveyancing
  • Overview
  • Decreases in property transactions in last three years
  • Wills, trusts and probate
  • Overview
  • Decrease in probate applications in 2019 but growing again in 2020
  • Family law
  • Overview
  • Family Court cases started increasing
  • Employment law
  • Overview
  • Employment tribunal cases increasing since 2017
  • Criminal law
  • Overview
  • Criminal trials

7. Practitioner Research

8. The Future

  • A Bounce Back in the Year Ahead?
  • Forecasts

9. Professional Bodies and Regulatory Authorities

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/hw00ar