Head of Advisory Services, Law Firm Group
David Altuna, Client Advisor
May 16, 2019Posted InLaw Firm Group
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The legal industry saw greater revenue during the first quarter of 2019 than it did to start the strong year of 2018.
We are pleased to announce the release of Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group’s Q1 2019 Quarterly Flash Report, which provides an overview of current financial trends in the legal industry, as well as forward-looking insight. Our results are based on data collected through our Quarterly Flash survey of 187 law firms (75 Am Law 100 firms, 52 Second Hundred firms and 60 niche/boutique firms). Thirty-two of these firms fit our definition of either international1 or global2.
The drivers of revenue growth in the first quarter of 2019 were much different than the start of 2018. The demand growth that characterized 2018 gave way to a demand decline during the first quarter of 2019, and much of the revenue growth came in the form of cash collections from 2018 inventory. Billing rate increases continued at the elevated pace that we saw in 2018, and they retake their position as the primary revenue driver to begin 2019, as they have been for much of the post-recession period.
Looking ahead, the industry maintains a strong inventory position heading into the second quarter, which should continue to provide momentum. This is important, as expense pressure, which had also been a theme of 2018, outpaced revenue growth and is likely to accelerate into the second quarter.
To read more about our findings, please refer to Law Firm Revenue Rose as Demand Dropped in the First Quarter of 2019, an article authored by Citi Private Bank’s John Wilmouth and Gretta Rusanow in The American Lawyer.3
For more information about Citi Private Bank’s Quarterly Flash Reports, please contact us.
1Between 10 and 25 percent of lawyers based outside the United States
2At least 25 percent of lawyers based outside the United States
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