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UK Family Law Market

UK Family Law Market

A DECREASE IN DIVORCES BUT OTHER FAMILY LAW AREAS GROWING
     
The UK Family Law Market Briefing is the third edition of an annual IRN Legal Market Briefing from IRN Research and provides an overview of the UK family law market.

A clear majority of family law practitioners are expecting volume and revenue growth over the next 12 months. Key market drivers identified by practitioners are: legal advice in new areas such as same-sex couples and co-habiting couples; more cases involving financial matters and disputes; mediation services; international work.

Other key findings:
Divorce matters account for almost half of all cases in the Family Court but the decade up to 2015 has seen a long-term decrease in divorces: between 2005 and 2015, petitions filed have fallen by almost 24% and the number of Decrees Absolute granted has fallen by almost 28%. In 2015, civil partnership dissolutions reached their highest annual total so far.

The family law sector, like the consumer legal market as a whole, exhibits the classic long-tail characteristics of a professional services sector. A few major companies dominate the market, followed by a long-tail of companies of diminishing size. There are large specialist international law firms dealing with high net worth clients and offering family law services plus large law firms focusing on consumer law. There are niche family law specialist firms and then a large number of general practice law firms offering family law alongside other consumer law services.

Other providers of family law services include 10-15 leading online divorce sites with most operating in the unregulated legal sector, family law barristers offering their services direct to the public, and voluntary bodies and agencies offering legal advice such as the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). 


INTRODUCTION
Overview of Business Law
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
MARKET STRUCTURE AND TRENDS
The organisation of business justice
A market in three layers
The Key Players
Considerable overlap between practice areas
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Brexit
A market where price transparency is missing
Which could open the market to unregulated legal providers…
And open the market to online matching services…
And make it easier for other new market entrants
CMA findings build on existing pressure for fixed fees
Third party funding rising in popularity
The Financial List makes its first ever judgement
Efforts to reduce the number of full trials in the commercial courts
Greater use of technology in commercial cases
With technology set to be the third leg in the legal stool
THE BUSINESS LAW MARKET
Turnover of over £14 billion and a market worth around £11 billion.
A growing market but one that is increasingly competitive
Corporate/commercial law and litigation the main sectors
In terms of client, legal services sell mainly to businesses
Small businesses are the main volume users…
Large companies spend the big bucks
THE FUTURE
Law firms will have to become more flexible and nimble.
Controlling costs will be a top priority
More mergers
Some areas of the market will struggle
CORPORATE, FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL LAW
Global economic events drive the top end of this market
Global M & A fall in 2016…
But domestic acquisitions rise strongly
Company starts are growing while deaths are declining
Growth in work for tax lawyers
The number of commercial Chancery Division claims falls in 2015
Commercial Court claims down by 20%
More shipping and Maritime cases in the Admiralty Court
Number of technology and construction cases falls
EMPLOYMENT LAW
A market influenced by legal changes
More niche work
Large rise in employment jurisdictional complaints in 2015
Earnings disputes the main driver of tribunal work
INTERNATIONAL LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
London, an international hub for litigation and mediation
But overseas competition is strong
It’s a low volume very high value area of the law
The UK mediation market handles over £10 billion of claims
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, PATENTS AND TRADEMARKS
It’s a vital area of the law
Legal cases related to patents, trademarks and designs
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY LAW
ASSOCIATIONS

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