Law Firm Revenues Back On the Rise
May 18, 2016
Summary: After the recession crushed the legal industry eight years ago, the industry as a whole is beginning to see levels back at the pre-recession levels.
Revenues are ticking upwards at many of the big law firms. According to Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group survey, the first quarter showed an increase in revenue of 5.8 percent. An increase of this amount has not been seen since before the recession hit the legal industry after the first quarter of 2008.
The survey also showed for the first time in five years an improvement in demand, collections, and rates. Rates were up 3.2 percent, collection cycle shortened by 1.5 percent, and demand increased 1.8 percent.
Citi acknowledges one factor that contributed to the improved numbers as the piles of unpaid bills from the end of 2015. Keeping the momentum going through the rest of the year may prove to be tough but the banks are hopeful.
Others are hopeful as well including legal consultant Peter Zeughauser. He said via email to The Wall Street Journal, “it’s a good sign that growth appears to be broad-based across geography, practice area and industry sectors.” He also backed up the fact that clients are willing to pay big bucks for some work since big firms aren’t losing as much work to cheaper competitors.
Zeughauser elaborated in his email, “There will always be those who say the reset button was pushed, the golden era will never return, and the sky is falling. But, that just isn’t so for well-run firms.”