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Law Society predicts boost in UK legal services

Real turnover expected to exceed pre-recessional levels in 2015 

28 August 2014

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The Law Society has today released its latest economic forecast for the UK legal services sector, in which it predicts growth in real turnover of 3.8 per cent in 2014, increasing to 4.9 per cent in 2015.

These figures compare with just 1.5 per cent growth in 2012 and 3.5 per cent in 2013. Furthermore, growth in net exports is expected to reach 7.9 per cent in 2015.

During the recent recession, real turnover in the UK legal sector fell significantly, while the average rate of growth in the pre-recession period was 4.5 per cent annually.

The Law Society states that the main factors driving growth in 2013 were improved performance of the UK business sector and increased housing market activity. These are expected to continue to be significant drivers of growth in legal services' real turnover in 2014 and 2015.

The Society has estimated that net exports grew by 3.8 per cent in 2013 and 3 per cent in 2014, with 2014 growth being affected by the strength of the pound. Growth in the advanced and emerging economies in 2014 and 2015 is said to be the primary cause of boosting the 2015 net export forecast to 7.9 per cent

The Law Society has warned that its predictions are based on macroeconomic forecasts that suggest households' real incomes will grow by 2 per cent in 2014 and 2.9 per cent in 2015.

If households' incomes grow by only 1 per cent in each of these years, then the growth in real turnover would be lower, at just 2.6 per cent in 2014 and 2.7 per cent in 2015.

Law Society president Andrew Caplen said: "Today's forecasts are good news for solicitors. If household incomes rise as predicted, our members with clients buying and selling property or needing legal advice for their businesses will benefit from housing market and business activity.

"High export predictions for 2015 will be welcomed by firms of all sizes having a role in meeting the increased demand for international transactions."First reported in sister publication Solicitors Journal.

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