2022 Australia: State of the Legal Market Report

The 2022 Australia: State of the Legal Market Report, issued today by the Thomson Reuters Institute, has revealed that Australian law firms experienced growth amid turbulent conditions.

Many of Australia’s largest firms performed well in the financial year (FY) of 2022. The market may serve as a beacon for other firms globally who are similarly managing against recession fears, rising costs, and competition for talent.

“Australian law firms are uniquely positioned on the world stage and maintain a strategic position,” comments Jackie Rhodes, Managing Director of Asia & Emerging Markets, Thomson Reuters.

Financial year 2022 dubbed a “tale of two halves”

FY 2022 is described as a “tale of two halves” in the report. *Demand for legal services rose to a strong 6.4% in the first half, but declined 2.1% in the second half. Corporate work, including mergers & acquisitions, which led much of the demand growth in the first half of the year, has since cooled off. However, *worked rate growth was especially robust, averaging 6.5%, compared to just 1.6% in FY 2021.

The key market trends in focus

The 2022 Australia: State of the Legal Market Report addresses the many market developments shaping the profession. Access your copy to discover:

  • Law firm performance: Financial metrics included in the report are collected by Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor®/Financial Insights data. These are based on the accounting systems from 16 participating law firms operating in Australia. They include some of the largest firms by lawyer-count in the region, and the report shines a light on their FY 2022 performance.
  • Legal innovation and tech trends: Tech investment is on the rise, and lawyers are sharpening their skill set for the future. A section of the report is dedicated to exploring the driving forces of digital transformation in the sector.
  • The changing demands on law firm partners: From management and leadership to ownership, the report explores the different ‘roles’ that partners are taking up. It reveals where they are spending their time and how they can be more strategic when client pressure stays high.
  • How in-house counsel are managing their departments: Corporate counsel are being pinched by tightening budgets. They are looking to technology and law firm advisers for support, details the report.

“The data and commentary in this report speak to the revolutionary potential of technology in legal practice, but also the importance of curating and nurturing lawyers themselves.”

– Professor Matthew Harding Dean, Melbourne Law School

Discover the elements driving the success of the legal profession in your copy of 2022 Australia: State of the Legal Market Report.

*Demand is defined as total hours worked; and worked rates reflect the hourly rate after negotiated discounts from the standard or rack rate. Fees worked are worked rates multiplied by demand.

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