The last three years have drawn to a close heralding another 12 months much like those that went before: depressing. The eurozone flirting with break-up, fiscal woes holding back Western economies and a subdued legal market. Check, check and check.
But drawing to the end of 2013, commercial lawyers are facing an outlook that is, in highly relative terms, not half bad. The word from senior City partners has been generally upbeat since the summer. The first half financial results have, if anything, exceeded those raised expectations. We are looking at the best set of like-for-like financial results seen for five years from major UK law firms. Even allowing for the weak comparison point of H1 2012/13, early numbers are robust across a wide range of firms.