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Legal sector drives increase in professional services employment in London in 2012

Legal sector drives increase in professional services employment in London in 2012

But marginal decline expected in 2013

Despite the challenging trading environment for financial services and the UK’s economic slowdown, TheCityUK’s latest London Employment Survey Report estimates that there was a net increase of 3,400 professional services jobs in London in 2012.

The legal services sector saw the biggest increase in headcount during the year at 2.5%, while management consulting and accountancy saw combined growth of 0.3%. Total employment in professional services in London rose to 309,100 for the year.

However, financial services in London saw a decline of 1,300 jobs over 2012 according to TheCityUK. The insurance sector experienced the largest decline at 1.7%, with banking and fund management seeing more moderate declines of 1.2% and 0.6% respectively.

TheCityUK’s report estimates that overall financial and professional services employment in London increased by 0.3% in 2012 to 665,700, still 26,000 or 3.8% below the peak level of employment in 2007. With new job vacancies and other indicators of financial services activity continuing the downward trends seen since 2010, TheCityUK is forecasting a marginal decline in London employment during 2013.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of TheCityUK, commented on the survey’s findings: “It’s encouraging to see that employment in the professional services sector, and particularly legal services, has continued to increase in 2012. English law is becoming the law of choice for international business and companies come to London and the UK because they know they will find world class lawyers, mediators and arbitrators.

“However, it has been a challenging few years for the financial sector, with significant job losses at the outset of the financial crisis. While the employment picture has stabilised since then, we are concerned that there is growing evidence to suggest a deterioration in the UK’s competitive position for financial and professional services, which would lead to further job losses in the future.

“The Government needs to set out a strong vision for the future success of the financial and professional services sector to ensure that the UK remains the preeminent location for financial services companies. There need to be strong signals to firms that we want them to come to the UK to invest, locate and grow their businesses.”

TheCityUK’s report suggests that accounting and management consulting together employ the most people in London, totalling 191,400 at the end of 2012. The next largest sectors are banking (144,300), legal services (117,700), insurance (71,200) and fund management (22,100). Auxiliary and other financial services sectors employ an additional 119,100 people.

The full report is available at


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