“Resilient law firms” reported a strong performance in fee-income during the financial year 2021-2022, according to the Law Society of England and Wales Leadership and Management Section Financial Benchmarking Survey.
In its 22nd year, the survey for 2023 collected financial data from 155 principally small and medium sized solicitor firms, with a combined income of more than £1.1billion, making it one of the largest of its type in England and Wales. Overall, 75% of participants reported year-on-year growth in fee income in 2022, with 46% seeing growth of more than 10%.
Median practice fee income increased by 9.2% whilst median fee income per equity partner increased by 5.4% from £891,693 in 2021 to £939,525 in 2022.
Law Society President, Lubna Shuja, said:
“It is encouraging to see law firms continuing to perform strongly, especially given the difficult economic climate we are all facing. As the cost-of-living crisis hits England and Wales the legal sector will continue to be an important driver of the UK’s economy.
It is good to see firms focusing on helping staff deal with the crisis and increasing salaries to retain and recruit staff. Of course, some firms struggle more than others, with lack of government investment continuing to hit legal aid firms.
In this current crisis, lawyers are needed more than ever to help people access justice in their time of need. The government must take action to stop the shortfall in legal aid providers before it is too late.”
Paul Bennett, chair of the Law Society’s Leadership and Management Section, said:
“In tough economic times the resilience of law firms shines through, although we need to remember these findings pre-date the cost-of-living crisis, the UK’s political contortions of 2022 in terms of multiple Prime Ministers and of course the impact of the war in Ukraine.
The results reflect the property boom of 2021 and the challenges in the service economy during 2021/2022 financial year. Resilience is, though, a good sign knowing as we do that firms are currently steering through the on-going choppy waters.”