The impact of the Irish Legal Profession on Ireland and its economy – a note on law related matters from Kilkenny Solicitor firm

Nov 24, 2014

The Irish Law Society, recently commissioned an independent survey by leading Irish economic consultancy firm Fitzpatrick Associates, analysing both the impact of the downturn on the solicitors’ profession and the sector’s contribution to the wider Irish economy.

The report details the profession’s immensely valuable contribution to the wider economy, showing the enormous and very positive impact we make. Among the key findings:

  • The legal services sector, of which solicitors make up around 70% of professional practitioners, had 18,000 persons engaged in 2014 and is expected to contribute €1.46bn in gross value added (GVA) to the Irish economy this year.
  • The sector is second only to telecommunications in terms of overall direct contribution to economic output among key service sectors examined.
  • More people are engaged in legal services than the engineering or telecommunications sectors.

As for the legal profession itself, the figures are stark:

  • Gross incomes for self-employed solicitors fell by 43% over the period 2007 to 2012. The greatest declines were outside Dublin; the Border, Midlands and Western region saw incomes fall by as much as 53%.
  • Between 2008 and 2012 employee numbers engaged in the legal sector fell by 21%.
  • Personnel costs, wages and salaries fell by 20% between 2008 and 2012.
  • There was a five-fold increase in the number of legal professionals receiving unemployment benefit or assistance between 2006 and 2009, while the 2014 numbers remain three times higher than they were in 2006.

– Holland Condon solicitors from Kilkenny Ireland

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