UK Legal Services market report
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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Legal Services market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.
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What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?
Scope of Report
This report addresses the following key questions concerning the UK legal services market:
- How has the market performed over the past five years?
- How are legal service providers responding to increased competitive pressures?
- What are the implications of Brexit on the sector?
- What is the outlook for the market over the next five years?
Legal services cover a broad range of services, such as commercial law, employment law, family law, conveyancing, immigration, wills and probate, and personal injury. Legal services vary from the provision of legal advice or assistance to being represented in a court of law in connection with the resolution of a legal dispute. The nature of the legal service required will depend on the type of legal need in question.
Legal services include ‘reserved activities’ that can only be provided by persons authorised to do so by their relevant approved regulator (known as ‘authorised persons’). The Legal Services Act 2007 specifies six reserved activities:
- the exercise of a right of audience
- the conduct of litigation
- reserved instrument activities (undertaken when conveyancing property)
- probate activities
- notarial activities/li>
- the administration of oaths
Persons authorised to provide reserved activities include solicitors, who need to be authorised by the Law Society, and barristers, who need to be authorised by the Bar Council.
Solicitors provide the great bulk of ‘first line’ legal advice, undertaking detailed advisory work on behalf of clients. While solicitors serving the local community are often in a general practice, solicitors serving business customers tend to be specialists in a particular area of law.
Barristers and advocates provide specialist legal advice and represent their clients in courts and tribunals. Often solicitors or other professional clients will refer work to a barrister or advocate, but it is also possible for a member of the public to go directly to a barrister for advice or representation, with some exceptions.
In addition to the six reserved activities, legal services also include both regulated and unregulated services:
Regulated services encompass a number of activities that are regulated by a statute other than the Legal Services Act 2007. For example, immigration advice can be provided by immigration advisers who are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). However, solicitors and barristers are exempt from having to be regulated by the OISC to provide immigration advice.
Unregulated legal services can be provided by persons who are not authorised by an approved regulator or regulated under a specific statute. For example, the provision of will writing services to individual consumers is neither a reserved nor a regulated activity, and can therefore be offered by unregulated providers and qualified lawyers. The provision of general legal advice, which is not a reserved activity, can be provided by a wide range of providers, such as charities and accountants.
The ONS provides a breakdown of the legal activities industry’s turnover by profession. For the purposes of this report, the market is also segmented by the main professions, as provided by the ONS:
- Other legal activities (includes activities of patent and copyright agents)
The report predominately focuses on the work categories of the solicitors profession, which accounts for the majority of industry turnover.
Segmentation of UK Solicitor Firms, by Type of Work
- ADR/other Litigation (B2B)
- Personal Injury
- Commercial Property/Planning
- Wills, Trusts & Probate
- Residential Conveyancing
- Allen & Overy
- Clifford Chance
- CMS Cameron Mckenna Nabarro Olswang
- Dentons UK and Middle East
- DLA Piper International
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
- Herbert Smith Freehills
- Hogan Lovells International
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- Slaughter and May
Expert analysis from a specialist in the field
Written by Claudia Preedy, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.
Competition in the UK legal services market is expected to further intensify over the coming years, driven by new entrants, rapidly evolving technology, innovation in business models, and changing client buying patterns. The more competitive market also means that technology and innovation will play a key role in ensuring that firms thrive in an ever-changing environment. Firms need to be highly agile, not only responding to current factors impacting the market, but also anticipating the next likely developments.
What you get
This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.
Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.
Mintel's proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.
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Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.
* This is a sample representation of the report layout and does not reflect the research included in this report.
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