DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Legal Services and Activities in South Africa 2024” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

This report on legal services and activities in South Africa includes information on the size and state of the industry, such as number of professionals and firms, revenue, number of firms opened and closed, hiring trends, budget cuts, effects of state capture and corruption, interference in the judiciary, legal tech and AI, transformation, and notable players.

There are profiles of 27 players including the large firms such as Bowmans, ENSafrica, Norton Rose Fulbright, Webber Wentzel, Werksmans and Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, and other notable players including Lawtons, Baker McKenzie, Spoor & Fisher and Shepstone & Wylie.

The legal services sector is expected to face a tough period ahead as the economy slows. While hiring has rebounded since late 2023, and the number of practicing attorneys increased, the net number of new law firms declined from its 2021 peak. Legal practitioners are undertaking more work that is common during a downturn, such as insolvencies, restructuring and provision of regulatory advice.

The sector is set to continue to adopt new technology to reduce costs and streamline procedures. While transformation continues apace, it has hit a speed bump as the legal sector code has not been approved timeously. While experts say the judicial system has held firm against state capture and recent attempts by the government to rein it in, concern over abusive practices in the profession is growing.

Key Market Trends

  • A number of attorneys do additional work, as billable hours have declined as the economy has slowed.
  • Abuse is a concern, linked in part to growing perception of corruption.
  • An increase in operating costs such as indemnity fees and cover for cyber theft.
  • An increasing number of one-person law firms as more lawyers want flexible working hours.
  • Continued growth in the consulting model.
  • Hiring at law firms has increased again, after declining in 2022.
  • Increasing automation of the legal process may lead to falling demand for junior professionals.
  • The net number of new law firms has declined since peaking in 2021.
  • The slowing economy has affected corporate law firms which have reported handling fewer M&A deals and more work such as company restructurings, insolvencies, and liquidations.
  • Transformation continues to be a key issue in the sector.
  • While adopting legaltech, law firms remain cautious over AI risks.


  • Compliance and advisory services due to new legislation and a changing regulatory framework.
  • Development of legaltech apps, particularly with AI.
  • Forensic probes into corruption and assistance with forensic and compliance advice.
  • Increasing demand for legal services across Africa, driven by economic, population, and foreign investment growth.
  • Many countries in Africa have relatively few lawyers per capita.
  • The development of alternative legal services (legaltech platforms) which provide clients with lower costs and increased delivery times.


  • Failure to innovate in the face of disruptive technologies and operating models may leave some traditional firms behind.
  • Increased operating costs such as indemnity fees and cover for cyber theft.
  • Increasing automation of the legal process may lead to falling demand for junior professionals.
  • Oversupply of graduates and concerns regarding legal education and development of future technology skills.
  • Perception of confidence in the country’s judicial system is declining.
  • Potential regulation of maximum legal fees.
  • Potential regulation of medico-legal claims which may result in a cap in compensation payments.
  • The sector is perceived to be transforming slowly.
  • The slowing economy, which has limited the number of M&A deals, while the number of new firm openings has slowed recently.

Market Outlook

  • The outlook for the legal sector looks mixed, given downwards adjustments in economic forecasts.
  • A slowdown in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance services and the inflexibility of some lawyers’ billing structures, mean lawyers’ salaries may only increase marginally in 2024.
  • Despite slow growth in the net number of new firms in 2023, law firms forecast that M&A dealflow could rebound in 2024.
  • The adoption of legaltech, including AI, is expected to continue apace, as law firms look to streamline operations.
  • However, legaltech will mainly be adopted by large and medium-sized law firms that are better resourced to cover the cost of new technologies than smaller firms.

Key Topics Covered:



2.1 Industry Value Chain

2.2 Geographic Position

2.3 Size of the Industry


3.1 State of the Industry

3.1 Key Trends

3.2 Key Issues

3.3 Notable Players

3.4 Corporate Actions

3.5 Regulations

3.6 Enterprise Development and Social Development




6.1 Economic Environment

6.2 Labour

6.3 Environmental Issues

6.4 Technology, R&D, Innovation

6.5 Input Costs


7.1 Competition

7.2 Ownership Structure of the Industry

7.3 Barriers to Entry





  • Adams & Adams
  • Allen and Overy (South Africa) Inc
  • Baker and McKenzie Inc
  • Bell Dewar Inc
  • Bowman Gilfillan Inc
  • Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc
  • Cox Yeats Attorneys
  • D M Kisch Inc
  • Daly Maqubela Oliphant Inc
  • Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc
  • Fairbridge Arderne and Lawton Inc
  • Fluxmans Inc
  • Garlicke and Bousfield Inc
  • Gildenhuys Malatji Inc
  • Goldberg and de Villiers Inc
  • Hahn and Hahn Inc
  • Knowles Husain Lindsay Inc
  • Lawtons Inc
  • Livingston Leandy Inc
  • Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc
  • Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys
  • Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes Inc
  • Spoor and Fisher Partners
  • Stowell and Co Inc
  • Von Seidels Intellectual Property Attorneys
  • Webber Wentzel
  • Werksmans Inc
  • Werthschroder Inc

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/e1blxx

About ResearchAndMarkets.com

ResearchAndMarkets.com is the world’s leading source for international market research reports and market data. We provide you with the latest data on international and regional markets, key industries, the top companies, new products and the latest trends.



Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager

For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470

For U.S./ CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630

For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900