Yorkshire bucks trend to record rise in number of solicitors, says Law Society

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YORKSHIRE was one of only two regions to record an increase in the number of solicitors last year, according to new research.

The latest Annual Statistics Report from the Law Society reveals the first fall in the number of practising certificate holders for more than 20 years.

According to the report for 2013, published yesterday, the number of practising certificate (PC) holders linked to a “named organisation” on July 31 2013 decreased by 0.9 per cent to 127,676, compared with July 2012. However, Yorkshire and Humber bucked the national trend.

The report states that in 2012 there were 7,856 solicitors in Yorkshire and the Humber, and in 2013, that figure rose to 7,864. The East of England was the only other region to see numbers rise. The total number of PC holders has almost tripled since the current statistical series began in 1983, but rates of growth have slowed since the late 1990s.

However, the long term trend is one of growth for the in-house sector. The survey shows that younger solicitors are more likely to be female. Women represented around 60 per cent of all PC holders aged 35 and under.

Desmond Hudson, the Law Society’s chief executive, said: “An improvement in the economy has not yet fed through to all solicitors, and many smaller firms are struggling in the wake of fundamental changes in areas of work such as legal aid, civil justice and family law.”

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