ABSTRACT

There are approximately 450,000 professionals working in businesses that come under the banner of ‘professional services’ in the UK alone.1 Within this group are lawyers, accountants, management consultants, information technology (IT) specialists, architects and other professionals who provide services to businesses and individuals based on knowledge, expertise and intellectual property. In the USA there are about 400,000 practising lawyers and over one million accountants.2 Professional services is a major business sector in Western economies and a key element of business exports to businesses across the globe. In the UK, professional and business services account for almost 20 per cent of national output and 14 per cent of UK exports (see Table 2.1).3 Professional services alone is reported to generate more than US$3 trillion in revenue globally and in the UK the sector employs almost 12 per cent of the workforce and accounts for 8 per cent of national output.4