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Legal services sector forecasts

22 August 2018

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 22 August, are for the period 2017-2025.

Main features of the current forecasts

  • UK legal services look to have been relatively buoyant through 2017-18, due to a combination of Brexit-related work, steady demand from UK businesses and an increase in work from non-UK clients taking advantage of the depreciation of the pound.
  • However, Brexit is likely to have a significant negative effect on the legal sector in the medium and longer term. This is largely due to the knock-on impact of Brexit on the wider economy as demand for legal services is mainly a derived demand.
  • Our econometric model predicts 2.2% average annual growth from 2019-2025 with a soft Brexit. This drops to just 1.5% with 'harder' Brexit such as a Canada-type free trade agreement.

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