The UK’s top 100 law firms grew fee income by 7.7 per cent in the third quarter, a survey by accountant Deloitte has shown.
According to the survey the top 100 law firms grew fee income by nearly eight per cent compared to the same period last year.
Deloitte said that the growth was driven by expansion in fee earner headcount and higher fees per fee earner, with both increasing by about four per cent.
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Jeremy Black, a partner in Deloitte’s professional services practice, said: “This has been another robust quarter for firms in the legal sector, in particular the small to mid-size firms. While all firms are facing a number of challenges, overall performance remains strong.”
The top ten firms grew at just 2.5 per cent, with fee earner headcount remaining flat and continued pressure on rates.
Outside the top ten fee earner headcount grew by six per cent in the 11-50 bracket and three per cent in the 51-100 sector.
Increase in fee income was particularly strong in the 11-25 quartile (9.6 per cent) and the 51-100 sector (8.4 per cent).
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Respondents predict a slower fourth quarter with fee income estimated to grow at four per cent.
Black said: “Although firms remain cautious about the future the underlying data shows that the market remains resilient.”