The UK’s Legal Services sector is thriving both domestically and internationally. The UK’s openness in allowing virtually unrestricted access for foreign firms has paved the way for more than 200 foreign law firms to establish offices in London and other cities across the UK.
The report reveals that UK law firms experienced their strongest rate of growth in six years during 2013, increasing turnover by 8.4% in 2013 to a record £30.6bn. TheCityUK forecasts a further 6% increase in turnover for 2014.
Overall, the sector directly employs 316,000 in London and more widely across the UK in cities such as Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh. Major global firms come to the UK from across the world to access the unrivalled breadth of services on offer, seek advice from world-class legal and advisory firms, raise finance and insure their business. This investment underpins job creation and supports growth across the broader economy.
This growth has also led to a significant increase in the sector’s contribution to the UK economy, which rose 9.4% year-on-year in 2013 to £22.6bn or 1.6% of GDP. The sector’s contributions have grown by around 65% over the decade to 2013, with its net export surplus also doubling over the same period to £3.1bn.
According to the report, the UK has consolidated its position as the leading international centre for legal services and it is also leading the way as the world’s most international market for legal services.