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Law firm revenue up slightly in Boston in Q1 2014, but less than national …

Law firm revenue for eight law firms in Boston was up slightly in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter last year, according to a quarterly report from Citi Private Bank’s law firm group.

The eight Boston-based law firms included in Citi Private Banks survey reported an average .4 percent revenue increase in the first three months of this year compared to the first three months of last year.

The revenue increase among the Boston firms was less than that of the 177 firms nationwide included in the survey, which are a combination of firms of different sizes and which have different global footprints.

Revenue for all 177 firms included in the Citi Private Bank survey increased 4.3 percent.

In its report, called Law Watch, Citi Private Bank explained the revenue increase as a function of the growth in legal services and increased billing rates for lawyers.

However, demand for legal services among the Boston firms decreased 1.6 percent in the first quarter of the year, while rates increased 4.6 percent, the data show.

The rate increase among the Boston law firms was higher than the average of all 177 firms, which saw rates increase 4.3 percent. Among the 177 law firms included in the survey, demand increased 1 percent in the first quarter, the Citi data show.

Numbers for Boston-based law firms were:

Revenue: 0.4%

Expenses: -1.1%

Demand: -1.6%

Total Lawyers: -5.8%

Equity Partners: -5.2%

Productivity: -0.7%

Rates: 4.6%

(Source: Citi Private Bank)

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