UK legal sector remains resilient despite seasonal slip

updated on 16 July 2021

UK Legal industry turnover dropped to £2.91 billion in May 2021, down 23% on April 2021, according to recent Office of National Statistics data. The statistics show that April 2021 was the second-highest month on record after March 2021.

Despite May normally being one of the lowest billing months for the UK legal industry, this year revenues were up 23% on the same month last year; as such, this monthly decline mirrors the seasonal trends over recent years.

Despite the financial hit following the pandemic, April and March were the most prosperous months for law firms – just this year April saw a £179.7 billion turnover. The legal industry revenues have fallen behind the trend in the overall UK services sector (including legal) which grew by a humble 0.9% month on month to £181.3 billion.

Julie Norris, regulatory partner, legal services at Kingsley Napley, said: “The UK’s legal industry saw tremendous growth in March and April due to the release of significant pent-up demand. This month’s figures, whilst down in line with typical seasonal trends, show that the industry remains resilient. Firm leaders will no doubt be reassured and encouraged to continue investing in growth. However, we must all pay attention to the toll that covid has had on people and processes and ensure that firms are prepared for whatever may arise in the coming months.”