Health check shows mid-sized law firms experiencing solid growth

2018 was a year of solid real-term growth for firms polled in the Law Society’s Law Management Section (LMS) Financial Benchmarking Survey 2019, which showed a median rise in income of 4.2% for participating firms.

Law Society of England and Wales president Christina Blacklaws commented:

“The financial performance of respondents has remained strong and even improved in key areas, with a median rise in income of 4.2%.

“Median fee income per equity partner has increased by 6% over the past year, and the ratio of fee earners to partners remained steady.”

Confidence has fallen a little this year, with a median growth prediction for 2018/19 of 3.2%. However, with Brexit on the horizon a degree of uncertainty lingers about the short-term future.

Other key challenges and opportunities for practices coming up include taking advantage of the ability to earn greater interest income, compliance with the new Solicitors Regulation Authority Accounts Rules, considering whether incorporation might be suitable for your practice, and cybercrime.

"The legal sector is an active and vibrant contributor to the UK economy. It contributes over £26 billion to the UK economy annually, with over £4 billion in net exports,” Christina Blacklaws added.

“Having good management helps firms financially, which will be important for them to remain sustainable as the market changes."

Notes to editors

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The LMS Financial Benchmarking Survey 2019 is written and produced by the legal team of Hazlewoods LLP for the Law Society Law Management Section and sponsored by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The Law Society LMS Financial Benchmarking Survey 2019 was based on questionnaires completed by 210 firms from across England and Wales. Participants included around a quarter of firms ranked 101 to 200 based on revenue, and other mid-sized and smaller firms (although there was under-representation of smaller firms). Those taking part had a combined income of £1.1 billion, mainly from domestic work.

This is the 19th year of the survey. Participants provided two years’ worth of data.

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