Litigation services aren’t eclipsing ‘bread and butter’ BV

BVWireIssue #112-4
January 25, 2012

The bread and butter of the valuation business is still non-litigation work, according to BVR’s latest 2011/2012 BV Firm Economics Survey. The ratio of billings attributable to non-litigation work vs. litigation services is still 2:1—a proportion that hasn’t changed significantly since the first survey, in 2006.

Some shifting does appear to be going on among BV firms at either end of the litigation services spectrum. For example, the percentage of BV firms that do a modest amount of litigation work (20% of overall services) has seen a slight uptick, from 48.7% in 2008 to just over half of participating firms (56.7%) in this latest survey. At the same time, however, only 6.5% of participating BV firms now say the bulk of their work (80% or more) is in litigation, compared to 11% in 2008.

Another perspective on the balance of engagements: consider how many firms have “diversified” to provide both litigation and non-litigation services. As the chart below illustrates, nearly 40% of all BV firms now receive substantial revenues from both types of work. Although these firms tend to be larger than their more “specialized” counterparts, many solo practitioners are also successfully straddling both camps. Notably, the percentage of BV firms that do no litigation work has dropped slightly, from 16.9% two years ago to 15.9% now.

2011/2012 percentage of total BV billings resulting from litigation-related services:

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