UK legal sector worth £21bn to the economy

Ben Southwood
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LEGAL services firms nearly doubled their contribution to the UK economy over the past decade, making the country the biggest legal market in Europe.

The legal sector added £20.9bn to GDP during 2011, according to figures released this morning by TheCityUK, up from £10.6bn in 2001.

This meant the UK’s legal sector – which generated £26.8bn of fees in the 2011-12 financial year – accounted for some seven per cent of the global trade in legal services, more than in any other European country.

“While it’s not been immune to the challenging conditions affecting the economy, the legal services market is proving remarkably resilient,” said TheCityUK chief executive Chris Cummings.

UK Trade & Investment minister Lord Green said: “The quality of our judicial system brings more international litigants to the UK every year.”

“The UK’s legal expertise is also an extremely valuable export in its own right as well as underpinning our strong commercial offer across a range of sectors,” Lord Green added.

Some 340,000 people worked in the legal services industry in 2011, according to TheCityUK, and the industry earned a £3.3bn trade surplus in that year.