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Editor's blog | Victorian values

The law is a bit like collectable Victorian crockery; when it breaks it's never the same

19 April 2013

The law is a bit like collectable Victorian crockery: a little old fashioned but safe, something whose value is relatively immune to the ups and downs of economic cycles. And so far, law firms have been particularly resilient to the tightening grip of the recession. There have been some notable casualties - Halliwells, Cobbets, Atteys - and many firms have made staff redundant. But in the main, the sector has had a much better survival rate than retailers on the high street.

Even the Law Society's latest figures attest to the relative solidity of the sector. Sure, the number of law firms, after an all-time high in 2010, went down last year, to what it was in 2007. But there are plenty of reassuring findings in this year's Law Society's annual statistics report.

There are more solicitors on the roll (+4.4 per cent) and even more with practising certificates (+5.61 per cent). The expectation that sole practitioners and smaller firms would be worst hit by th...

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