The United States and Canada remained Australia's largest market for legal services in 2008/09 while legal exports to Japan grew by 60 per cent.
According to figures announced today (25 March) from a biennial survey commissioned by the International Legal Services Advisory Council, Australia' legal services exports and international legal activity increased by $34 million between 2006/07 and 2008/09.
The survey, which involved extensive input from industry over the course of the year, measured the earnings of legal services to overseas clients and legal services to Australians on overseas projects and investments.
According to the survey, Australia's trade in international legal services grew from $675 million in 2006/07 to $709 million in 2008/09.
"Despite the global financial crisis, Australia's trade in international legal services increased significantly in 2008/09," said Attorney-General Robert McClelland.
"Australian law firms have demonstrated flexibility and the capacity to quickly adapt by moving resources to other areas of demand."
According to the survey, in 2008/09 the United States and Canada remained Australia's largest market for legal and related services at $184 million, followed by China and Hong Kong at $101 million, Europe at $73 million and the UK at $67 million.
Legal exports to Japan grew significantly at 60 per cent, while exports to Singapore grew by 16 per cent.
Asia accounted for a significant share (32 per cent) of the overseas market for Australian law firms, despite an overall decreased of 8 per cent in activity.
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