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Legal services industry in Europe - Statistics & Facts

The legal service industry provides expert services in the practice of law through lawyers and attorneys. Law firms can provide expertise in a range or in a specific area of law, for instance family law, criminal law, tax law or real estate law. National legal services markets in Europe are not as big as the U.S. market. The United Kingdom (UK), however, has a long legal tradition and the country's law firms are among the leading in the sector worldwide.

Many nations today practice a civil law or a common law system of justice. Civil law originates in the Roman Empire and, consequently, in Continental Europe. Common law traces back to Medieval England and is now used in England, the United States and Canada among others. In Europe, most countries follow the civil law model, while England and Ireland have a common law model. Solicitors and barristers are two figures of the common law system which correspond to the figure of advocates of the civil law system. Legal professions are among the most coveted, as they provide a rather steady and high income. In the legal services sector, however, competition is fierce. Italy, for instance, counts approximately 250,000 lawyers nationwide. By comparison, China has approximately 473,000 lawyers, despite a population twenty times higher.

Law firms and legal practitioners appear to have overcome the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic unscathed. The sector's revenue in the UK, for instance, remained stable between 2019 and 2020. What the pandemic did change, however, is how individuals access any kind of service. In 2021, most legal services' users reported using online tools and virtual consultations to communicate with their legal practitioners and to have their services delivered. Despite having many advantages, online tools do not seem to convince customers fully. In fact, the level of satisfaction for services delivered via email, online tools and softwares, or telephone among legal services users was overall lower compared to face-to-face and in-person consultations.

Interesting statistics

In the following 8 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Legal services industry in Europe".

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