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Legal services

Research guide

Published: 30 Aug 2018 Updated: 11 Mar 2021 Update History

Exclusive content
Access to our exclusive resources is for specific groups of students and members.
Contents

Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

Trends and forecasts

Online articles

The library provides full access to articles from leading business, finance and management journals.

Access to articles is provided subject to suppliers’ terms of use.

Useful links

Market research

Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Industry profiles

Industry profiles give an overview of market size in different countries or regions, the competitive landscape and provide a forecast of market performance. These profiles are available exclusively for ICAEW members and ACA students through the Library & Information Service.

Regional reports

Asia

Europe

North America

If you experience any problems accessing these resources, please see our online resources troubleshooting FAQ.

Other market research specialists

Some free information is available from the following market research specialists, ranging from industry news to executive summaries of the reports.

Euromonitor
A full listing of reference products and research reports for the legal services sector within the real estate and business services industry from Euromonitor, with a range of global, country and company level reports. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.

IBISWorld
Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors, including legal activities. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available. The company also produces global industry research reports.

IRN Research
Executive summaries and full briefs of reports on the legal services market.

Mintel
Report from Mintel covering the UK legal services market. The website includes a summary and the option to view a contents listing.

Industry news

Need to find the latest news on this industry sector? We can carry out industry news searches using a range of trade titles and general business sources through our databases. To discuss your requirements, please contact the enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com.

Statistics on the UK

Office for National Statistics

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:

  • number of enterprises;
  • total turnover;
  • approximate gross value added at basic prices;
  • total purchases of goods, materials and services;
  • total employment – average during the year;
  • total employment costs;
  • total net capital expenditure;
  • total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
  • total net capital expenditure – disposals;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.

The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:

  • Legal activities (69.1)
    See Section M: Professional, scientific and technical activities

Law Society

The Law Society produces an annual statistical report on trends in the solicitors' profession, covering:

  • the numbers of solicitors and practices;
  • the demographic make-up of the legal profession; and
  • trends in education.

Other sources

Annual Law Firms' Survey
Annual survey from PwC that analyses the performance of participating firms for benchmarking financial and operational effectiveness. The data includes detailed charts and graphs.

Law firm benchmarking 2020
Annual law firm benchmarking survey from Crowe Clark Whitehill providing a snapshot of UK law firm performance. Includes revenue and profit growth, profit per equity partner, fees per fee-earner, increase in headcount, employment costs, average lock-up days and percentage of top-tier partners for city and regional firms. Registration is required to download the report.

Statistics on Europe

Eurostat

Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover or gross premiums written
  • production value
  • value added at factor cost
  • gross operating surplus
  • wages and salaries
  • social security costs
  • gross investment in tangible goods
  • gross investment in land
  • gross investment in existing buildings and structures
  • gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
  • gross investment in machinery and equipment
  • number of employees
  • number of persons employed per enterprise.

Statistics within the database are available for:

  • Legal activities (M691)
    See database section ‘SBS – services’

Employment

UK

Average employment costs within this sector are available from Table 14 of the Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for:

  • solicitors and lawyers, judges and coroners;
  • legal associate professionals;
  • legal secretaries.

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.

Legislation

UK business guides

Croner-i Business Focus

Business Focus is a resource that provides practical information on many small business trades and sectors. Its Business Opportunity Profiles offer detailed insights into market conditions, legal issues and the trading environment for a range of businesses. They include:

  • Patent attorney
  • Solicitors' firm

To find out more about Business Focus, please contact our enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com.

UK key players, ratios and trends

We can produce reports on this sector using selected information from the FAME company database. Reports are available for:

  • Legal activities
    UK SIC (2007) Code 69.10

Summaries of the three types of report we can produce are given below. You can find further information, a sample report, pricing details and an online order form on our industry sector reports page.

We also operate a bespoke reports service with results tailored to your specifications. Please contact our enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com to discuss your requirements.

Key players report

Our key players report looks at the top companies (by turnover) in any one of the segments within this sector. Reports usually include the top 100 companies but in more specialised sectors with fewer than 100 companies we show all companies with disclosed figures. The reports provide data on 11 comparative fields for the last available year, including:

  • turnover;
  • profit margins;
  • returns on shareholder funds;
  • solvency ratios
  • number of employees.

Our reports enable easy comparison of the top companies in this sector against each other and against the sector median, average and standard deviation in each of the 11 fields.

Mailing list

A separate mailing list report is also available with address and contact details for the top companies in any of the segments within this sector.

Market reports

Our market reports look at the aggregated data for the top companies (by turnover) for any of the segments within this sector across all the fields usually found in a company report. The reports include data for the last 10 years* and enables easy comparison of trends for the whole sector. Reports usually include the top 100 companies but in more specialised sectors with fewer than 100 companies we show all companies with disclosed figures.

*Please note the number of companies for which data is aggregated will vary for any given year.

The market reports include sections on:

  • key financials and employees;
  • profit and loss account;
  • balance sheet;
  • cash flow statement;
  • financial ratios;
  • financial trends and changes;
  • profitability trends and changes.

Valuation

BVB Insights
Annual report providing the latest transaction multiples broken down by industry. Each section includes a summary of recent deals with EBITDA, average transaction size and expert analysis of current trends within each industry.
The motor industry is classified as 'retail - automotive' and has its own transaction multiples and analysis under 'consumer discretionary'.

ICAEW members, ACA students and Forensic/Valuation Group subscribers can download an overview of the report with headline industry multiples. Information on individual deals can be supplied by the Library on request.

Trade bodies

The websites of trade bodies in this sector are a useful source of industry overviews, contacts and statistics.

UK

Europe

Africa

Americas

The Federación Interamericana de Abogados provides a list, with contact details of Affiliate Member Bar Associations in the Americas.

Asia

Global

The International Bar Association has a comprehensive directory of member organisations by region.

HG.org, the legal information portal, maintains a large directory of legal associations, including:

  • law firms associations
  • lawyers associations
  • lawyers associations
  • bar associations
  • ADR associations
  • paralegal associations
  • law students associations.

Trade journals and publications

Trade journals, B2B magazines and specialist consumer magazines are another useful source of news and statistics.

Further reading

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you're looking for?

The ICAEW Library can give you the right information from trustworthy, professional sources that aren't freely available online. Contact us for expert help with your enquiries and research.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this Business & Industry Guide is correct. However, the content of websites changes frequently and users should satisfy themselves that the information they contain is suitable for the purposes for which they wish to use it. We would be grateful to receive notification of any broken links at library@icaew.com.

Hyperlinks

ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.