Local law firms showing growth

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Latest research from the Law Society’s Law Management Section (LMS) has revealed that legal practices in Devon and Cornwall are continuing to see an improvement in fortunes and report growth, despite the challenging economic climate.

The key findings from the Law Management Section (LMS) annual profitability survey, which is sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial, reveal the financial health of law firms across the UK.

The most recent survey findings show that practice fee income for legal firms increased by 3.6% in 2012, as law firms continued to adapt to challenges in the legal marketplace. In 2011 growth was more modest, with practice fee income showing a marginal increase of 1%.

The survey of LMS member firms and other firms also revealed that average net profit per equity partner increased from £112,549 to £114,853 – a rise of 2%.

Peter Blakesley, senior manager, specialist markets for Lloyds TSB Commercial in Devon and Cornwall, 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%, 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%