Categories:East Midlands

Brum council law team scoops work from firms

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  • How can an hourly rate of £90 not be subsidised by the local taxpayer? Assuming, say, 1,100 chargeable hours a year (we are talking local authority workloads here), that equates to fee income of around £100,000 pa. How can that cover costs? Presumably the cost of employing the "blended" lawyer will be around £50,000 pa. Their secretary will cost £25,000. These figures allow for employers NI and pension contributions. That leaves £25,000 for everything else. If PI cover is 5% (£5,000) and accommodation costs are 10% (£10,000) that leaves £10,000 for all the other expenses such as stationery, library, subscriptions, courses, postage, etc, etc. And what about contributions towards management and other overheads? Part of reception cover, part of the accounts team, part of human resources, etc.
    If I were a private practitioner dependent on local authority work I'd be pretty miffed. But who is going to speak out? To do so would probably not endear oneself to local authority Heads of Legal.

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  • Point well made.

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  • Re Dayglo Dave's comment -I can see where he's coming from but having worked in the private sector and the public sector I've observed that very few LA lawyers actually receive salaries approaching £50k and even less have "secretaries" (or indeed anyone to whom they may delegate their typing) so from a costs perspective it could work be beneficial for the client (if the work is actually done)

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  • Let us not forget the magical formula - hourly rates in private practice = 30% for salaries, 30% business expenses and 30% for partnership profits...
    Can you see who is screaming (and understand why!) when local authorities do not charge for 30% partner profits?

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