TOUGHER ECONOMIC conditions are taking their toll on the UK legal sector, with the top 100 firms experiencing a serious slow down in revenue growth.
According to Deloitte’s Quarterly Legal Sector Survey, the top 100 firms achieved, on average, a fee income increase of 6.3 per cent in quarter 1 (which in the UK runs from 1 April to 31 July). By comparison, in the previous year they achieved growth of 12 per cent in quarter 4, 10.6 per cent in quarter 3, 12.5 per cent in quarter 2 and 15.1 per cent in quarter 1.
However, things aren’t so bad at the very top of the heap, and UK’s top 10 firms managed to achieve quarter one growth of 11.1 per cent.
According to Deloitte, the revenue growth that has been achieved has been a result of increased fee rates, while work volumes have remained fairly static. Jeremy Black, a partner in Deloitte’s professional practices group, said that the top 100 firms are forecasting single digit growth of on average 7.5 per cent for the remainder of the financial year (ending on 31 March 2009).