LLP accounts by no means offer the perfect insight into a firms’ financial health. What firms include in the report is far from uniform and some useful metrics – profit per equity partner – don’t get a look in. But they do provide a good snapshot of what’s going on at a firm and the emergence of limited liability partnerships have made analysing and reporting on the UK legal market incalculably easier that it was 20 years ago.
Given that law firm management appear to have had a particularly active few months, The Lawyer thought it was high time to collect and collate a sample of LLP reports giving insight into the market and the figures informing managing partners’ decisions. Barring the odd outlier firm that has managed to thrive in the present environment, the picture painted by the LLP reports is not a magnificently bright one, but nor is it disastrous given the difficult economic situation.
Moreover, it was encouraging to see K&L Gates’ decision to become more transparent with its financial data earlier this month. The firm’s chairman Peter Kalis said that the collapse of another US firm, Dewey & LeBoeuf, prompted him to be more free with K&L Gates’ metrics.
As with LLP accounts, it’s far from perfect, but it’s a start.