A recent survey of the legal service market conducted by Deloitte has reported that the top 100 law firms have reported an income rise of 7.2% in the third quarter of 2011/12, compared with the same period last year.

Interestingly, the strongest growth was reported amongst those firms ranked 26-50, who reported fee income growth of approaching 10%. The most impressive increases were reported within contentious fields, with corporate revenues remaining sluggish.

This growth has unfortunately not been a universal trend, with wide variations between firms being reported. It was found that one-third of firms’ revenue growth was either above 18.5%, or had declined by 4.1% or more

Jeremy Black, partner in Deloitte’s professional services group, said: ‘The overall sector has performed well in what have been very challenging markets. On average it is anticipated that the top 100 firms will grow by 6-7% for the year ended 30 April 2012.

‘However, the overall averages hide a wide disparity between firms, with performance increasingly dependent on firms’ practice areas and geographic footprints.

‘Litigation continues to perform well, whilst corporate revenues remain lacklustre. Furthermore, those with a presence overseas, particularly in Asia, are able to bolster their performance in light of a more stagnant domestic market.’

As reported by Deloitte: http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_GB/uk/4a762911707f5310VgnVCM1000001a56f00aRCRD.htm