Last year may not have matched 2018’s performance, but 2019 was a year of solid growth for the legal industry, building on the strong results we reported for 2018. Revenue growth exceeded expense increases, widening margins. Rate increases were the strongest we have seen since 2008. Meanwhile, demand growth continued to accelerate as the year progressed. And while a longer collection cycle dampened revenue growth in 2019, strong inventory growth places the industry in a comfortable position to start 2020.

These results are based on a sample of 201 firms (76 Am Law 100 firms, 56 Second Hundred firms and 69 niche/boutique firms). Forty-five of these firms fit our definition of either international (less than 25% but more than 10% of lawyers based outside the United States) or global (at least 25% of lawyers based outside the United States). Citi Private Bank provides financial services to more than 700 U.S. and U.K. law firms and more than 50,000 individual lawyers. Each quarter, the Law Firm Group confidentially surveys firms in the Am Law 100 and the Second Hundred, along with smaller firms. In addition, we conduct a more detailed annual survey and semiannually produce the Law Firm Leaders Confidence Index. These reports, together with extensive discussions with law firm leaders, provide a comprehensive overview of current financial trends in the industry, as well as forward-looking insight.

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