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This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
The Law Society's annual deficit rose again last year to nearly £8m, its recently published accounts reveal.
The society's income from practising certificate fees, investments and other sources totalled £110m in 2005, up from £103m in 2004. But expenditure rose by a greater amount to £118m from £108.6m the previous year.
However, the society's acquisition of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund (SIF) meant that £30m was added to the income side of the balance sheet, enabling the organisation to end the year in credit.
The main cause of the society's increase in expenditure was a £6.7m, or 16 per cent, rise in wages and salaries, up to £47.3m. In the same period, the average number of Law Society employees rose by 6 per cent to 1,364.
Compensation for the society's office holders went up, with the salary for the president rising to £91,668 from 2004's £89,284. Annual compensation for the president, vice-president and deputy vice-president has gone up again. Since 1 September 2005, the president's annual compensation is now £93,483.
As in 2004, the Law Society's highest earner was chief executive Janet Paraskeva. She was paid a total of £338,000 in 2005, including a salary of £196,000, a bonus of £38,000 and £94,000 in pensions contributions.
Depreciation in equipment, furniture and computer hardware cost the society £10m in 2005, compared with £6.4m in 2004. Another substantial increase in expenditure came from the Legal Services Complaints Commission, which was only established in 2004. Last year the Law Society spent £1.4m on commission-related activities.
Legal fees for cases and interventions brought by the Law Society, as well as other advice, rose to £8.8m in 2005 from 2004's £6.9m.
The bulk of the rise in income came from the increase in practising certificate fees, which totalled £82.2m in 2005 compared with £78.4m in 2004. Income from other sources dropped slightly.
Good news came from the Law Society's pension scheme. After payments from the SIF into the scheme, the deficit dropped from £44.8m in 2004 to £36.3m in 2005.
The accounts were approved by the Law Society's Audit Committee last month. A Law Society spokesperson said that although the accounts show a deficit, an increase in the practising certificate fee in November meant there was a budget surplus of £6m.