Almost £3bn could be stripped from legal sector turnover by 2025 if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal according to new economic forecasts released by the Law Society of England and Wales using alternative Brexit scenarios developed in collaboration with Thomson Reuters.
Law Society president Christina Blacklaws said: “UK legal services look to have been relatively buoyant through 2017-18, thanks to a combination of Brexit-related work, steady demand from UK businesses and an uptick in business from non-UK clients taking advantage of the depreciation of the pound.
“However, Brexit is likely to have a significant negative effect on the legal sector in the medium and longer term. This is largely due to the knock-on impact of Brexit on the wider economy as demand for legal services relies on the success of other sectors of the UK economy.
“Our econometric model predicts 2.2% average annual growth from 2019 – 2025 with a soft Brexit. This drops to just 1.5% with ‘harder’ Brexit options such as a Canada-style free trade agreement (FTA).
“If the UK had to fall back on Word Trade Organisation (WTO) rules – a ‘no deal’ scenario – growth would only be 1.1% per year on average over this period.”