Surge continues for Australia’s law firms, says midyear market update

Many Australian law firms are enjoying financial performance that would rival their peer firms around the world, according to the ‘Australian Legal Market Midyear Update’ (Midyear Update).

Issued today by the Thomson Reuters Institute, the Midyear Update addresses how well firms are performing against a spectrum of financial metrics. 

The rate of demand for legal services is the most remarkable result included. In the first half of the financial year, demand grew by 7.2% compared to the same point last year. “This growth in demand was driven by nearly every practice area tracked,” notes the Midyear Update.

Where is the demand coming from, by practice area?

The Midyear Update reveals the rates of growth across eight legal practice areas.

Dispute resolution and general corporate work are driving the growth in demand for legal services at 9.5% and 7.5%. By comparison, the fastest growing practice area in the U.S. in 2023 was bankruptcy at only 4.4% growth. 

What are legal counsels willing to spend?

According to the Midyear Update, General Counsel clients are expressing widespread likelihood that their spend on outside counsel will increase in the coming 12 months. The net anticipated spend by practice data included in the report provides more clues. 

Will the growth continue for law firms?

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has highlighted that inflation in Australia has cooled since its 2022 peak. Should rates of demand for law firms stay on course, the legal market is set for future growth. 

“The Australian legal market appears well positioned to continue its long string of success, having seemingly fully recovered from the doldrums of early FY 2023 with no signs of looking back,” the report notes.

Australian lawyers, dive into the legal market data you need to know. For full access to the Australian Legal Market Midyear Update, complete the form on this page.

Subscribe toLegal Insight

Discover best practice and keep up-to-date with insights on the latest industry trends.