In brief: Survey finds limited liability a priority

More than 50 per cent of professional partnerships are considering ways of limiting their liability, according to a survey by chartered accountants Smith & Williamson. The telephone survey of over 90 professional partnerships, of which 60 per cent were solicitors firms, also found strong support for mergers. Eighty per cent of solicitors firms said they would consider a merger, while 75 per cent have either made or been approached about a merger. The main issue for firms is improving profits (73 per cent) while 71 per cent cited expansion and diversification of the client base. The Smith & Williamson survey also found that while 16 per cent of firms were actively considering a merger, 34 per cent were actively considering the acquisition of a team.