There is a lot of good news in the nine-month 2019 industry results. While we might not end the year with the strong growth levels seen in 2018, we anticipate that 2019 will be a decent year. For the first time this year, revenue growth exceeded expense growth. Rate increases continued to be strong, while demand growth continued to accelerate. The collection cycle continued to lengthen, hurting revenue, but strong inventory growth places the industry in a solid position to end the year well.
These results are based on a sample of 190 firms (76 Am Law 100 firms, 54 Second Hundred firms and 60 niche/boutique firms). Thirty-one 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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