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England and Wales solicitor roll hits record high
Law Society of England and Wales President I Stephanie Boyce

22 Sep 2022 / global news Print

England and Wales solicitor roll hits record high

The number of solicitors on the roll in England and Wales has reached a record high, according to statistics from the body that represents the profession.

The figures from the Law Society of England and Wales show that there were 209,215 solicitors on the roll on 31 July 2021 – up nearly 7,000 on the previous year.

According to the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales, the number of women with practising certificates rose from 78,256 in 2020 to 80,881 last year.

Women made up 47% of the profession in 2013, but this proportion has now risen to 53%.

Women, however, represent only 18% of partners.

In-house sector keeps growing

The Gazette says that the number of Asian and black solicitors is slowly increasing. There were 19,016 Asian solicitors on the roll – up from 18,235 in 2020. The number of black solicitors increased to 4,396, from 4,218 the previous year.

Other findings show that the in-house sector is continuing to grow, and now represents a quarter of the profession.

The number of private practice firms in England and Wales fell, however, from 9,109 in 2020 to 9,020 in 2021.

Society president I Stephanie Boyce (pictured) said that more work needed to be done to increase the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) solicitors, as well as solicitors from low socio-economic backgrounds, and the number of women in the higher echelons of the profession.

The decreasing number of firms highlighted “the need for widespread investment in our justice system – including legal-aid rates to ensure lawyers are there when needed”, the Gazette quoted her as saying.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland