The legal service industry provides expert services in the practice of law through lawyers and attorneys. Companies 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. American law firms are the leading law firms worldwide in term of gross revenue: the Los Angeles-based Letham & Watkins was the world´s highest-grossing law firm in 2016 at 2.82 billion euros.
The increasing number of television series focusing on the life, scandals and work of lawyers does not necessarily have a positive impact on the opinions people have of lawyers, attorneys and judges. When asked if they trust law firms, about 35 percent of adults from the United Kingdom admitted to having a medium level of trust towards these institutions.
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. As of 2014, about six percent of British employees in the legal services industry were barristers and advocates. The number of practicing solicitors in England and Wales increased consistently from 2012 to 2015. In 2015, 91 thousand solicitors worked for private practices and 42.3 thousand for non-private practices. In Italy, the region of Calabria had the greatest number of lawyers registered to the bars and law associations per inhabitant, with almost ten lawyers for every thousand inhabitants in 2016.
Among the leading law firms with the highest median salaries in London, the local-based Latham & Watking office ranked first again in 2016, affording to pay a median annual base salary of 107,000 British pounds to their employees. In Denmark, the annual personnel costs of legal and accounting activities increased rather consistently from 2010 to 2014, going from 1.82 billion euros to 1.9 billion euros. The annual personnel costs increased in Belgium as well over the same period of time, from 1.48 billion euros in 2010 to 1.6 billion euros in 2014.
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In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 41 most important statistics relating to "Legal services industry in Europe".