Legal industry in decline as number of practicing certificate holders falls for first time in a generation

Graduates attending ceremony

The first signs of a decline in interest in the legal industry have been seen, as according to the Law Society’s annual statistics report, the number of practising solicitors in the UK has fallen for the first time in 20 years.

It will hardly come as a surprise to many, what with the ever changing climate and continuous hammering of the industries profit potential by government reforms but nonetheless there will be sense of worry and panic by the revelations.

The report shows that the number of practicing certificate holders linked to a named legal organisation from the 31st July 2013 was 127,676, which represents a 0.9% drop on the previous year.

Although this is a relatively small amount, it is buck in the trend for what was once a thriving industry.

Speaking on behalf of the Law Society, chief executive, Desmond Hudson, said: “Change and competition within the legal sector is intensifying and this is having a major impact on many businesses.

“An improvement in the economy has not yet fed through to all solicitors, and many smaller firms are struggling in the wake of fundamental changes in areas of work such as legal aid, civil justice and family law.”

In all, a total of 9,807 legal practices were registered in July 2013, which in line with the drop in PC holders also represents a drop for the first time since 2007.

Image source(s)

1. Flickr; John Walker;

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