UK legal sector post record turnovers on back of M&A boom
The UK’s legal sector has posted its largest turnovers ever, on the back of booming demand for legal services, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
In 2021, the UK’s law firms generated £41.58bn in revenues, compared to annual turnovers of £36.78bn in 2020, figures from the UK government’s ONS show.
The 13 per cent rise in the legal sector’s annual turnovers saw the industry post its highest revenues on record.
The legal sector’s fast-paced growth sits in line with rapid growth displayed by the entirety of the UK’s services sector, which expanded 14.8 per cent between 2020 and 2021, in posting annual revenues of 2.3tn.
The legal sector’s rapid growth in 2021 comes as the industry has shown lackluster growth over the past few years.
Between 2019 and 2020, the legal industry’s turnovers grew by just 0.3 per cent, from £36.77bn in 2019 to £36.78bn in 2020.
The sector’s revenues also dropped by 2.6 per cent in 2016, from £32.19bn in 2015 to £31.33bn the following year.
The law sector’s record turnovers come amid surging demand for legal services, linked to the economic impacts of Covid-19, amid a rise in bankruptcies and M&A activity.
Julie Norris, Regulatory Partner, Legal Services at Kingsley Napley LLP said, “The UK’s legal industry cemented its growth during 2021 and had another successful year.”
“These results no doubt chime with Firm leaders’ on the ground experience that workflow was buoyant even during a time of increased restrictions due to Covid-19 and the Omicron variant.”