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The UK’s legal sector has seen continuous growth. This trend is set to continue despite macroeconomic issues such as inflation and the cost-of-living crisis. According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK legal industry turnover totalled £4.05 billion in March 2022 and employs approximately 350,000 people each year. This growth is a testament to the strength and stability of the UK’s legal sector, but what does this tell us about the industry’s future?
Increased opportunities for lawyers and law firms?
With the growth of the legal sector, there are increasing opportunities for lawyers and law firms to expand their services and client base. This may be particularly beneficial for smaller firms, which can benefit from the increased demand for specialised legal services. Larger law firms can expand their services on an international basis to offer a broader range of legal services globally – growing in areas such as international arbitration, cross-border litigation, and mergers and acquisitions.
Greater investment in legal technology?
The growth of the UK’s legal sector is also a driving factor for investment in legal technology. Investment in legal technology will benefit firms in various ways as the development of software and systems will help to streamline legal processes, enhance efficiency, and improve the client experience. For example, many firms are developing and implementing AI systems to be used as a contract analysis tool to review contracts quickly and accurately.
Curious about AI in law firms? Check out this LCN Says on the use of AI in the boardroom.
More focus on diversity and inclusion?
As the UK has a very diverse population, the growth of the legal industry means that law firms should have a greater focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I), especially through the initiatives that law firms now offer. This helps to ensure an industry that’s accessible to all, while reflecting and embracing the diversity of the UK population. Not only is this about D&I initiatives in the workplace, but also about improving access to legal training and ensuring legal services are affordable and accessible to all.
So, what does this growth mean?
With the UK’s legal sector continuing to grow, it’s important that there’s a focus on increasing opportunities, investing more in legal technology and focusing on D&I. The legal sector should embrace these opportunities to expand its services and client base; and to further drive innovation and make the industry accessible to all, as well as representative of the population. Now’s the time for the legal industry to show how progressive it is and where it can improve, so that it can continue to thrive.