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Legal services sector forecasts

Posted: 2 November 2017

The Law Society produces forecasts of turnover, employment, net exports and prices for the UK legal services sector (solicitors, barristers and other legal services providers). They are based on our Research Unit’s econometric model of the legal services sector which incorporates macroeconomic forecast from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and the IMF World Economic Outlook.

The forecasts, released on 2 November, are for the period 2017-2025.

Main features of the current forecasts

  • Low growth in the UK economy and declining housing transactions mean the volume of turnover of firms in the sector is likely to show relatively modest growth over the next three years, compared to past growth.
  • In the short term, employment in the sector is expected to continue to fall, although some pick-up in growth in the sector in the medium term could lead to more stable (and possibly a small increase) in the level of employment in 2020-2022.
  • In the longer term, employment in the sector will increasingly be affected by automation of legal service functions. Our estimate is that employment in the sector could be 20 per cent less than it would otherwise have been by 2038, due to increasing automation. 

Download the latest forecasts (PDF 627kb)

Further information, email Keith Blakemore, senior economist, Law Society Research Unit.