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Annual Statistical Report 2011

This report describes the size and composition of the solicitors’ profession and describes trends in entry to the profession.

The size of the profession

  • As at 31 July 2011, there were 159,524 solicitors on the roll, but the figure is affected by transitional arrangements in place at the time for the roll renewal process.
  • At the same date, 121,933 solicitors held practising certificates (76.4% of those on the roll), an increase of 3.5% on the previous year.
  • Since 1981, the total number of solicitors holding practising certificates has grown by 206.4% at an average annual rate of 3.8%.
  • These solicitors were employed in 17,561 separate organisations of which 15,524 were based in England and Wales.
  • 87,973, or 72.1% of, solicitors holding practising certificates worked in private practice in England and Wales; the remainder worked mainly in commerce and industry and the public sector.
  • In the last 10 years, the proportion of practising certificate holders employed outside private practice in England and Wales has increased from 18.1% to 27.8%.

Read an executive summary of the report below.

Get a copy of the full report

The report is free for Law Society members. To request a copy, please send your name and SRA roll number via email to

Non-members can buy the reports from the Law Society Bookshop, priced £99.

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