Low competition and high profit margins for lawyers, accountants and architects
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    Low competition and high profit margins for lawyers, accountants and architects

    The strong regulation of the lawyer, accountant or architect professions weighs heavily on the economic performances, according to a Price Observatory study (SPF Economie) reported Thursday by L’Echo and De Tijd. The observatory examined four categories of professional services: legal activities (lawyers, solicitors and bailiffs), accountancy (accountants, certified accountants and company auditors), architecture and engineering.

    The study looks into the degree of regulation controlling these professions, and the performances they show in terms of market dynamism, profitability or resource allocation efficiency.

    The four sectors are subject to a higher degree of control than the European average. As far as their dynamism is concerned, only architectural activity surpasses the Belgian average, and the four sectors are below the European level. Belgium is no longer the “Queen” of productivity (value added per person employed). However, as for cost effectiveness, legal activities, architecture and accountancy stand among the most profitable services. It is less the case for engineering activities.

    Concerning architecture, legal services and accountancy, the Price Observatory concludes that Belgium’s high level of regulation may be linked to a relatively weak sectoral momentum and efficiency.

    Jason Bennet
    The Brussels Times