News UK Business Leadership Law firms Lincolnshire’s Wilkin Chapman boosts revenues with local merger By Margaret Taylor 21 January 2010 15:28 13 December 2015 17:33 Sign in or register to continue reading. It's FREE Sign in Email Password Keep me logged in Forgot your password? Not registered? It's FREE! Register now Register with The Lawyer Leeds based Lawyer 21 January 2010 at 16:11 Wow! That equates to 23 staff for every £1m of turnover. I am surprised that they make a profit. Presumably the staff are paid way below the sort of wages that are paid in Leeds and other similar commercial centres. Reply Link Anonymous 23 January 2010 at 08:03 The previous comments reveal the gulf in the legal profession. Very many solicitors and legal support staff outside large metropolitan areas are on what London lawyers would presumably consider to be ‘meagre rations’. The clients of these firms cannot afford excessive hourly rates and the wages of the law firm staff reflect this reality. Please keep in mind that firms like Wilkin Chapman provide a service that is valued by the communities in which they operate. It is regrettable that having an office in Grimsby or Cleethorpes is considered to be beneath the salt. We cannot all work in London. Surely what matters is the quality of the service? In straightened times is it not better to use a firm in a non ‘exotic location’ for routine work rather than to pay extra for an atrium and fancy plants? Reply Link Rural bliss 23 January 2010 at 15:53 “That equates to 23 staff for every £1m of turnover.” You’re quite right, that is an absurd ratio. It either means that there are far too many non fee-earning staff or that the fee-earners are hopelessly inefficient. I suspect that will be one of the main reasons for the merger. Mid-sized firms like this are in the worst position of all – not prestigious enough to get big ticket profitable work, but not small enough to make decent money out of niche work. They have to take on a lot of routine crap just to keep the shekels rolling in and pay the wages. And the location is hardly going to attract heavyweight commercial work – I can’t imagine that many plc directors would want to reveal that their company solicitors are trading from such exotic locations as Grimsby and Cleethorpes! Firms like this are the most susceptible to commoditisation of legal work and you can bet that the current headcount will be slashed in an attempt to get competitive. Having 12 offices in obscure locations is also not viable any more – this massively increases overheads as a proportion of fee-income. Unfortunately I would expect half of those small offices to be closed and I wouldn’t be surprised if 25% or more of those staff will soon be looking for new jobs. Reply Link Name Email Cancel reply Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.