Demand for litigation services at large and midsize law firms was up last year, but not quite back to its pre-pandemic levels. And demand for litigation services was nowhere near as sky-high as it was in law firms’ transactional practices. That’s according to a new report out this week from Thomson Reuters and Georgetown Law Center.
Their “2022 State of the Legal Market Report” found that, as of November 2021, demand for billable, non-contingency work for all litigation time-keepers was up 3.3% year over year. While that’s a healthy uptick, the demand growth in litigation paled in comparison to the boom for demand in real estate and M&A practices, which saw billables up 10% and 10.6% respectively. And though the litigation demand was up year over year, it was still 1.2% lower than where it sat two years ago in November 2019, before court closures and pandemic-related trial delays cut into some of the most highly coveted litigation work. As the report’s authors put it: “This corporate and real estate practice surge sufficiently offset the much smaller recovery against pre-pandemic levels in other practice areas, such as litigation, labor & employment, and intellectual property.”