2021 Australia: State of the Legal Market Report

Thomson Reuters presents 2021 Australia: State of the Legal Market, a data-led report for leaders at law firms and legal departments.  

The report has revealed that despite remarkable recovery in the past year, firms must now make “big strategic decisions” on how to deploy technology to lock-in opportunities for future growth. 

Australian firms a “beacon of innovation”  

Through a combination of demand growth, slight rate growth, and reduced expenses, firm profits grew to record highs in FY 2021, with average profit as a percent of revenue over the last 12 months rising to 36.8%.  

“Australian law firms have proven themselves extremely resilient in managing through the tremendous ups and downs encountered over the past year,” said Jackie Rhodes, Managing Director of Asia & Emerging Markets, Thomson Reuters.  

“In particular, the sudden shift to remote working can be considered a success for the Australian legal market, enabling firms to uncover new efficiencies while providing their legal talent the flexibility and balance they had craved.”  

Key features of report findings

The 2021 Australia: State of the Legal Market report shows results for FY 2021, which ended June 30 – a period that covers both the downturn during the depths of the pandemic in 2020, and the emerging recovery in 2021. Access your copy for market insights covering: 

  • Law firm performance: Learn how the market is performing through a number of metrics tracked by Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor.  
  • Law firm profitability: Technology and remote working may explain some of the financial results we are seeing in the legal market. Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor takes a look at expenses and revenue growth, and growth in worked rates. 
  • Talent trends in the legal profession: The report delves into lateral movement seen among partner titles at Australian-based law firms. Rigorous data analysis by Alpha Creates offers which practice areas are “competitive hotspots” for partner talent. 
  • Client feedback: Firms who focus on key areas are likely to gain quick wins in client satisfaction. The report highlights the “stand out” advisory skills noted by corporate buyers of legal services.  
  • “Headwinds” and “tailwinds”: What are the major forces at play impacting the legal sector? From the “headwinds”, “tailwinds” to internal operations, the report addresses key areas of consideration. 


Thomson Reuters gratefully acknowledges the participation of the following persons in the preparation of this report: from Alpha Creates – Eric Chin, Principal; from Barolsky Advisors – Joel Barolsky, Managing Director; and from Thomson Reuters – William Josten, Manager of  Enterprise Legal Content – Thought Leadership, Isaac Brooks, Analyst – Peer Monitor, Bryce Engelland, Industry Analyst, and David Johnson, Senior Client Relations Manager. 

Update on 29 August: The 2022 Australia: State of the Legal Market Report has been issued today. Access your copy of the report here on Legal Insight.

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