Organisation Description Year
Law Consultancy network

Survey indicates 34% increase in merger activity

This survey suggests six classifications of firm: commercial, general, legal aid, private client, litigation (niche), commoditised (page 3).

2010
Law Consultancy network

Merger activity doubles in last six months

This survey suggests six classifications of firm: commercial, general, legal aid, private client, litigation (niche), commoditised (page 3).

2011
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2004

Summary distribution of firms and solicitors – page 2
Reporting on trends in Private Practice:

  • In 2004 there were 15,692 separate organisations employing solicitors of which 13,834 were based in England and Wales.
  • In 2004, there were 9,211 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales listed in the Society’s database, a small increase of 0.1% on 2003.
  • The vast majority of law firms are relatively small with 85.0% of them having four or fewer partners.
  • In 2004 42.2%, of private practice firms were located in London and the South East.
  • Just over one-quarter of private practice firms, 27.1%, were recorded as being located in London in 2004. These firms employed just over two-fifths (41.6%) of all private practitioners.
  • In 2004, the 1.5% of firms with 26 or more partners employed over one third (37.0%) of all solicitors in private practice. Sole practices accounted for 45.3% of firms, and employed 8.5% of all solicitors.
  • On average, the very largest firms, with 81 or more partners, had 2.7 assistant/associate solicitors per partner compared with between 0.4 and 1.6 in the smaller and medium-sized firms.

Page 7

Trends in the number of private practice firms and offices, number of offices by firm size, firm size by region – Pages 23-26

2004
Ministry of Justice

Summary: training and regulating providers of publicly funded legal advice – a case study of civil provision

Suggests breaking legal sector down into “for profit” and “not for profit” sectors (page i)

2009
Department for Constitutional Affairs

Estimating the size and nature of the civil legal advice sector in England and Wales

Split between Advice, referrers and sign posters

2006
Legal Services Research Centre

Sixth annual diversity report

solicitors firms / not for profit (page 13)

2007
Bar Council

Access to justice: barristers working in the public interest

Self employed barristers and employed barristers (page 2). 12,000 are self employed, 3000 are employed (page 2).

2009
John Flood

Lawyers Practice & Ideals: A comparative view Chapter 5: Remapping Lawyers Turf – A comment on Professors Clark & Mattei

Review of 4 areas of law (corporate, personal injury, criminal defence, immigration) and development of a Model of Fields of Practice using variables of inclusive and exclusive in terms of jurisdiction, and open and closed fields in terms of the traditional responsiveness of suppliers in these areas. Pages 213 – 220

1999
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2009

Reporting on trends in Private Practice:
In 2009 there were 85,128 solicitors employed in private practice, an increase of only 2.2% on the number employed the year before.

  • In 2009 there were 10,362 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales listed on the Society’s database, an increase of 0.9% on 2008.
  • The vast majority of law firms are relatively small with 85.3% of them having four or fewer partners.
  • In 2009 41.9% of private practice firms were located in London and the South East.
  • Just over one-quarter of private practice firms, 27.3%, were located in London in 2009. These firms employed 43.9% of all private practitioners.
  • In 2009 the 2.0% of firms with 26 or more partners employed 31.3% of all principals and 41.8% of all solicitors in private practice. Sole practices accounted for 40.7% of firms, yet employed only 7.9% of all private practitioners.
  • On average, the largest firms, with 81 or more partners, had 2.19 assistant/associate solicitors per partner compared with between 0.7 and 1.62 in the smaller and medium-sized firms.

Page 6

Trends in the number of private practice firms and offices, number of offices by firm size, firm size by region – Pages 21-24

2009
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2008

Reporting on trends in Private Practice:

  • In 2008 there were 83,329 solicitors employed in private practice, an increase of only 0.9% on the number employed the year before.
  • In 2008 there were 10,267 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales listed on the Society’s database, an increase of 1.5% on 2007.
  • The vast majority of law firms are relatively small with 85.9% of them having four or fewer partners.
  • In 2008 42.5% of private practice firms were located in London and the south east.
  • Just over one-quarter of private practice firms, 27.8%, were located in London in 2008. These firms employed 43.7% of all private practitioners.
  • In 2008 the 1.9% of firms with 26 or more partners employed 30.8% of all principals and 41.3% of all solicitors in private practice. Sole practices accounted for 44.2% of firms, yet employed only 8.0% of all private practitioners.
  • On average, the largest firms, with 81 or more partners, had 2.11 assistant/associate solicitors per partner compared with between 0.36 and 1.58 in the smaller and medium-sized firms.

Page 6

Trends in the number of private practice firms and offices, number of offices by firm size, firm size by region – Pages 21-24

2008
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2007

Reporting on trends in Private Practice:

  • In 2007 there were 15,694 separate organisations employing solicitors of which 14,374 were based in England and Wales.
  • In 2007, there were 10,114 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales listed on the Society’s database, an increase of 1.1% on 2006.
  • The vast majority of law firms are relatively small with 85.9% of them having four or fewer partners.
  • In 2007 42.6%, of private practice firms were located in London and the south east.
  • Just over one-quarter of private practice firms, 27.6%, were located in London in 2007. These firms employed 42.5% of all private practitioners.
  • In 2007, the 1.9% of firms with 26 or more partners employed 29.8% of all principals and 40.2% of all solicitors in private practice. Sole practices accounted for 44.0% of firms, yet employed only 8.0% of all private practitioners.
  • On average, the largest firms, with 81 or more partners, had 2.1 assistant/associate solicitors per partner compared with between 0.4 and 1.6 in the smaller and medium-sized firms.

Page 6

Trends in the number of private practice firms and offices, number of offices by firm size, firm size by region – Pages 21-24

2007
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2006

Reporting on trends in Private Practice:

  • In 2006 there were 15,396 separate organisations employing solicitors of which 14,139 were based in England and Wales.
  • In 2006, there were 8,926 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales listed in the Society’s database, a small decrease of 1.7% on 2005.
  • The vast majority of law firms are relatively small with 87.0% of them having four or fewer partners.
  • In 2006 42.4%, of private practice firms were located in London and the South East.
  • Just over one-quarter of private practice firms, 27.4%, were recorded as being located in London in 2006. These firms employed approaching one-half (43.6%) of all private practitioners.
  • In 2006, the 1.3% of firms with 26 or more partners employed well over one-third (39.0%) of all solicitors in private practice. Sole practices accounted for 46.3% of firms, and yet only employed 8.2% of all solicitors.
  • On average, the very largest firms, with 81 or more partners, had 3.7 assistant/associate solicitors per partner compared with between 0.4 and 2.4 in the smaller and medium-sized firms.
2006
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2005

Reporting on trends in Private Practice:

  • In 2005 there were 14,879 separate organisations employing solicitors of which 13,792 were based in England and Wales.
  • In 2005, there were 9,081 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales listed in the Society’s database, a small decrease of 1.8% on 2004.
  • The vast majority of law firms are relatively small with 86.0% of them having four or fewer partners.
  • In 2005 42.8%, of private practice firms were located in London and the South East.
  • Just over one-quarter of private practice firms, 27.3%, were recorded as being located in London in 2005. These firms employed well over one-third (37.0%) of all private practitioners.
  • In 2005, the 1.4% of firms with 26 or more partners employed over one third (38.1%) of all solicitors in private practice. Sole practices accounted for 45.9% of firms, and employed 8.3% of all solicitors.
  • On average, the very largest firms, with 81 or more partners, had 3.1 assistant/associate solicitors per partner compared with between 0.4 and 2.0 in the smaller and medium-sized firms.
2005
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2003

Reporting on trends in Private Practice:

  • In 2003 there were 15,212 separate organisations employing solicitors of which 13,893 were based in England and Wales.
  • In 2003, there were 9,198 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales listed in the Society’s database, a small decrease of 0.4% on 2002.
  • The vast majority of law firms are relatively small with 84.7% of them having four or fewer partners.
  • In 2003 42.1%, of private practice firms were located in London and the South East.
  • Just over one-quarter of private practice firms, 27.0%, were recorded as being located in London in 2003. These firms employed well over one-third (38.0%) of all private practitioners.
  • In 2003, the 1.6% of firms with 26 or more partners employed over one third (37.3%) of all solicitors in private practice. Sole practices accounted for 44.8% of firms, and employed 8.5% of all solicitors.
  • On average, the very largest firms, with 81 or more partners, had 2.1 assistant/associate solicitors per partner compared with between 0.4 and 1.6 in the smaller and medium-sized firms.

Page 7

Trends in the number of private practice firms and offices, number of offices by firm size, firm size by region – Pages 23-26

2003
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2002

Reporting on trends in Private Practice:

  • In 2002 there were 14,927 separate organisations employing solicitors of which 13,931 were based in England and Wales.
  • In 2002, there were 9,231 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales listed in the Society’s database, a small decrease of 0.2% on 2001.
  • The vast majority of law firms are relatively small with 84.3% of them having four or fewer partners.
  • In 2002 41.5%, of private practice firms were located in London and the south east.
  • Just over one-quarter of private practice firms, 26.0%, were located in London in 2002. These firms employed 42.0% of all private practitioners.
  • In 2002, the 0.4% of firms with 81 or more partners employed 14.3% of all principals and just over one fifth (21.7%) of all solicitors in private practices. Sole practices accounted for 44.8% of firms, and employed 12.2% of all principals and 8.6% of all solicitors.
  • On average, the largest firms, with 81 or more partners, had 1.6 assistant solicitors per partner compared with between 0.4 and 1.1 in the smaller and medium-sized firms.

Page 6

Trends in the number of private practice firms and offices, number of offices by firm size, firm size by region – Pages 22-25

2002
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2001

Reporting on trends in Private Practice:

  • In 2001, there were 8,306 solicitors’ firms in England and Wales earning at least £15,000 per annum, a small decrease of 0.2% on 2000.
  • In the past year the number of 2-4 partner firms fell by 1.7%, and the number of 5-10 partner firms by 0.8%. In contrast the number of sole practices rose by 0.8%, whilst the number of 11-25 partner and 26 or more partner firms increased by 6.9% and 2.4% respectively.
  • Over the past five years, and within and overall drop of 4.6% the number of sole practices fell by 3.2%, the number of 2-4 partner firms fell by 7.3% and the number of 5-10 partner firms fell by 7.0%. In contrast, the number of 11-25 partner firms increased by 12.5% and 26-or-more partner firms increased by 17.1%.
  • In 2001 almost one-half, 47.7%, of those private practice firms with annual gross fees in excess of £15,000 were located in London and the south east. This is similar to the 47.4% recorded for 2000.
  • Excluding those firms with annual gross fees below £15,000, just over one-quarter of private practice firms, 25.4%, were located in London in 2001. These firms employed 41.8% of all private practitioners.
  • In 2001, the 0.4% of firms with 81 or more partners employed 13.8% of all principals and just over one fifth (20.9%) of all solicitors in private practices. Sole practices accounted for 42.1% of firms, and employed 12.3% of all principals and 8.7% of all solicitors.
  • On average, the largest firms, with 81 or more partners, had 1.6 assistant solicitors per partner compared with between 0.3 and 1.1 in the smaller and medium-sized firms.

Page 7

Trends in the number of private practice firms and offices, number of offices by firm size, firm size by region – Pages 25-30

2001
The Law Society

Trends in the solicitors’ profession Annual statistical report 2000

Reporting on trends in Private Practice – Page 7
Trends in the number of private practice firms and offices, number of offices by firm size, firm size by region – Pages 25-31

2000
Legal Advice Sector Partnership Steering Group

Advice forward: developing skills for the future

Report breaks down providers into private practice, not for profit and statutory sector (page 8).
Not available online

2006
The Law Society

Review of the regulation of corporate legal work

Providers of corporate legal work / acting for corporate clients (page iii). Corporate firm would have 70% corporate client base (page iv). More detail on this profile of firm – page 4.

2009
KPMG

KPMG Impact of the Legal Services Act UK, Survey of Major Companies 2008

Potential future segmentation of corporate legal services market into three types (page 6)

2008
The Law Societ

2009 Regulatory performance survey findings

Possible definitions (page 7) ‘high street’ / ‘non-high street’ firms. City’ / ‘Large Provincial’ / ‘Niche’ / ‘other’,

2009
Bar Standards Board

The role of regulation in the future of the bar

Pie chart summarising which organisations barristers work for (page 2).

2010
Legal Services Policy Institute

Training for the future: the professional preparation of lawyers for the commercial and regulatory environment after the Legal Services Act 2007

Page 4 – corporate, commercial / private and public legal service.

2009
Legal Services Research Centre

Findings from the Legal Advice Sector Workforce Surveys

One definition is publicly funded legal advice (whether NFP or for profit) page  1. Further stratification – page 4 – private practice, NFP and statutory bodies. boundaries between groups are blurred.

2007
Legal Services Research Centre

Legal advice sector workforce: Analysis of survey findings – Marisol Smith and Tania Tam

Not for profit, private practice or statutory sector (page 4)

2006
Legal Services Research Centre

Targeting and access to justice: an introduction to legal aid reform in England & Wales – Pascoe Pleasance

Not for profit and for profit providers (page 8)

2001
University of Huddersfield

Training and regulating those providing publically funded legal advice services – a case study in civil provision

Not for profit and for profit (page iii) providers

2009
Legal Services Research Centre

Money Advice Outreach Evaluation: Cost and Effectiveness of the Outreach Pilots

Makes distinction between three levels of work for debt clients at outreach services:

  • General Help Service: which involved the diagnosing of clients’ problems, giving information and explaining options, identifying further action the client could take, and providing basic assistance such as form filling, helping the client to draft letters and contacting third parties on the client’s behalf.
  • Casework Service: provided at the LSC Specialist level and included taking action on the clients’ behalf in order to move their case on, and sometimes negotiation, advocacy or representation.
  • Representation: where an adviser has undertaken representation on behalf of a client at a court or tribunal.

Table 5.6: Stage Reached in Outreach Cases
Figure 5.4: Stage Reached by Venue Type
Pages 40-41

2008
Marc Galanter & Simon Roberts

From kinship to magic circle: the London commercial law firm in the twentieth century

Magic Circle firms in 2000, were all full service firms – having substantial corporate and banking capability and range of supporting departments. All organised on business lines headed by managing partners who were effectively chief executives. All firms had global reach.  Tables setting out gearing ratio in 2000. Page 1

2008
Legal Services Commission

Community legal advice centres and networks: a process evaluation

LSC no longer differentiates between solicitors and not for profit providers when contracting with them (page 18).Three classifications of providers – NFP, solicitors, advice staff employed by  local authorities (page 34).

2010
Moulton Hall Market Research

Referral arrangement and legal services research report

Local firms versus big providers – page 49.

2007
Ministry of Justice

Legal Services Bill – Full Regulatory Impact Assessment

Legal aid providers (page 52).

2007
International Financial Services London

Legal Services 2011

International firms, foreign firms, accountancy firms, national law firms etc (page 3-4).

2011
Department for Constitutional Affairs

Advice Agencies, Advisors and their Clients: Perceptions of quality

In relation to LSC-funded work, market is divided between solicitors and not-for-profit organisations (page 1)

2005
Legal Services Commission

Quality assurance for advocates: Summary report of the QAA Equality and Diversity data survey and focus groups

In relation to advocacy – split by way of prosecution and defence (page iii).

2009
Department for Constitutional Affairs

The organisational structure of legal firms; A discussion of the recommendations of the 2004 review of the regulatory framework for legal services in England and Wales – Richard A. Brealey and Julian R. Franks

How different sizes of firms may respond to ABS – pages 15-21

2005
John Flood

Globalization and Large Law Firms

History of global law firms including the tournament for partnership.

2007
Akron Law Review

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW CAN HURT US: THE NEED FOR EMPIRICAL RESEARCH IN REGULATING LAWYERS AND LEGAL SERVICES IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY Carole Silver

Global firms (more than half of lawyers working outside home country). Network firms (working in conjunction with other law firms in other countries) etc – page 55.  Also discusses large and mid sized firms throughout the report – but this is a US definition of midsized, not a UK version. Subscription only

2010
Ministry of Justice

Twelve months later: does advice help? The impact of debt advice – advice agency clients study – Kim Williams and Anna Sansom

For profit and not for profit (page 5).

2007
Advice Services Alliance

Regulating alternative business structures

For profit / not for profit(page 2).

2009
Bar Standards Board

Review of Pupillage – Report of the Working Group

For barristers, the main split is between employed and self employed (page 10)

2010
Ofqual

The market for regulated qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Evaluation of market definition in qualifications market

2010
Council for Licensed Conveyancers

CLC Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2009

Divides licensed conveyancers into different segments

2010
Journal of Information, Law and Technology

Law Firm Clients are Drivers of Law Firm Change II Peter Gottschalk

Debate as to worth legal publishing companies or accountancy firms may “muscle in” to provide legal information – blurring the lines between advice and information (page 4).

2002
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Regulating and Deregulating Lawyers

covers the existence of legal software expert systems, used by non lawyers (with reference to US text case).  (page 6). Not available online

2010
Cardiff University

An anatomy of access – evaluating entry, initial advice and signposting using model clients

covers solicitors and NFP providers as suppliers (page 9).

2002
Cardiff University

Damage based contingency fees in employment cases

Claimant or respondent providers? (page 25) – irrespective of entity provided by.

2008
Ministry of Justice

Conditional cautions: evaluation of the women specific condition pilot – Helen Easton, Marisa Silvestri, Karen Evans, Roger Matthews, Sandra Walklate

Civil and criminal (implied)

2010
Law Centres Federation

Fundamental Legal Aid Review

By provider type – i.e. not for profit (page 3).

2004
Bar Standards Board

Called to the Bar Statistics

Barristers – self employed or employed

2010
Fordham Law Review

Teams of rivals? Towards a new model of the corporate attorney / client relationship

(Implicit in the report) – law firms with corporate clients.

2009