Justifying #1m to stakeholders

I REFER to your report on a US law firm seeking a partner for its London office and apparently willing to offer drawings at the #1m level (The Lawyer, 11 January).

Given the office overheads that go into generating fees to provide for an income at that level, the successful applicant will have to maintain average charge-out rates and number of chargeable hours at hitherto unattainable heights. Alternatively, a veritable army of assistants will be required to generate partner income.

All service industries should consider their primary obligation to clients. Market forces are fickle. The view that only a few firms can provide certain specialist services, and that there is no price sensitivity for such services is complacent and reflects poor management practice. Successful businesses have to deliver more from less. A serious disparity between income levels for professional advisers and those of the directors of their clients creates dissatisfaction and loss of loyalty.

A lack of consideration to all the stakeholders in a transaction is a risk all practitioners should avoid.

Ashley Balls, New Zealand