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Gloucestershire Business News

Number of partners at UK law firms grows for third year

The total number of partners at UK law firms has risen for a third consecutive year, according to Hazlewoods.

Hazlewoods Chartered Accountants and Business Adviser said that the total number of partners increased by 17 in 2016/17, following increases of 264 and 284 in 2014/15 and 2015/16 respectively.

Although there has been a slowdown in the growth rate, the rise shows the industry has remained resilient through the period of immediate uncertainty created by Brexit.

As a result of Brexit, law firms are assessing what potential changes there will be and what they will mean for their future workloads, which roughly splits into two scenarios:

  • An increase in work from companies requiring legal advice to deal with the possible impact of Brexit
  • A reduction in corporate finance and broader financial services and real estate work

Top 100 law firms are still the main generator of new partners. There is a reduction in partner numbers in many smaller firms, and many firms continue to move from partnership to limited company status.

Andy Harris, associate partner at Hazlewoods, said: "The growth in the number of partners at law firms for the third year running, although small, shows the resilience of the legal profession.

"Despite Brexit and the uncertainty surrounding any future deal, law firms have been able to maintain their current partner numbers, and in many instances continue to grow the business."

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