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Legal services industry in France - statistics & facts

Lawyers, judges, paralegals, and bailiffs are some of the actors active in the French legal system. The legal services offered by some of these professionals are crucial for the functioning of the public justice sector and the private legal market in France. Indirectly, these same actors contribute to an international legal services market with a forecasted value of about 790 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. It goes without saying that legal services are not a niche business, with about eight percent of all French claiming having sought legal consultation in 2021. With over the 70,000 attorneys registered as bar members in the country in 2020, the importance of this market in France undisputable.

An overview of the legal services market

In France, legal activities were responsible for a revenue valued at about 45.8 billion euros in 2020. Apart from revenues generated by corporate legal entities, this figure includes proceedings coming from public court decisions, such as auctions, confiscated properties, and court fees. Another reason for the high significance of the French legal market is the size of its public justice system. In 2020, the number of people employed by the judicial system was over 33,600. According to figures from 2021, the public legal workforce in France counts with almost 16,000 notaries and about 3,400 bailiffs. Despite the size of the public legal workforce, revenues generated by public legal procedures are not up to par with revenues coming from private legal service providers. To put it in perspective, corporate, and private clients were responsible for the largest share of revenues generated by legal service providers in France, with about 95 percent of the total revenue being attributed to them in 2020.

Legal techs, a promising branch for private legal service providers

Apart from being the main generator of revenues in the French legal system, non-public service providers also seem to be a driving force in revolutionizing the sector: More than half of legal tech startups, that is, companies offering a fully digitalized legal service, assessed the impact of COVID-19 on their activities as positive. Furthermore, the value of venture capital (VC) investments received by French legal techs amounted to more than 100 million euros between 2017 and 2020. While French legal tech startups seem to strive in these last years, about a third of them claim that the shortage of funds represents a main operational barrier .

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