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Revival in law firms’ fortunes

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Legal practices in East Anglia are seeing improving fortunes and growth, helped by ‘robust management’, according to a sector survey.

The Law Management Section annual profitability survey, sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial, shows practice fee income for legal firms increased by 3.6 per cent in 2012, up from 1 per cent in the previous year, as firms adapt to challenges in the legal marketplace. Average net profit per equity partner increased from £112,549 to £114,853 – a rise of two per cent.

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, president of the Law Society, said: "The Law Management Section helps firms to share good practice and advice, playing a key role in helping law firms steer their way through challenging economic conditions.

"There's no one-size-fits-all approach that will help firms emerge from the recession or adapt to tough market conditions facing the sector, but for many law firms, a robust management system underpins their success.”

Carl Woodwards, senior manager, specialist markets for Lloyds TSB Commercial in East Anglia, said: “This year’s survey results demonstrate once again the remarkable resilience of the solicitors' profession. In difficult economic conditions, it’s really impressive to see median income grow by 3.6 per cent, and a similar percentage growth in median net profit per equity partner.

Other key findings from the survey were:

•         The number of support staff per fee earner remained steady at 0.61;

•         The 166 firms that responded to the survey recruited 824 new staff, incurring total recruitment costs of £7.65 million;

•         The median spend on non-salary overheads per fee-earner was £37,992 compared with £37,831 in 2011, an increase of 0.4%.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 March 2013 09:55 )