Low costs keep North West firms ticking over

Apart from the revelations about Avalon, The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report once again shed light on the way the market in the North West is currently looking. The good news for law firms in the region is that costs remain low.

Avalon aside, Keoghs was the only North West firm with a cost per lawyer (CPL) of more than £150,000 last year, in 61st place overall with a CPL of £165,000. Pannone’s CPL was £150,000, 73rd in the table. All the other North West firms appeared in the bottom 25 in the UK by CPL, with Hill Dickinson and Brabners Chaffe Street in the bottom five with CPLs of £119,000 and £107,000 respectively.

Unfortunately revenue per lawyer (RPL) in the region is also on the low side. Halliwells’ lawyers are bringing in the most money, each generating £209,000 on average last year. Once again Hill Dickinson falls near the bottom of the table, with an RPL of just £156,000.

Brabners managed the highest profit per lawyer (PPL) in the region with a combination of its low costs and reasonable RPL producing a PPL figure of £80,000.

When it comes to The Lawyer’s unique earnings per partner (EPP) calculations – the average remuneration for a partner, equity or otherwise, in a law firm – the North West performs poorly compared with other regions. Four North West firms are in the bottom 10 in the UK by EPP: Keoghs, Weightmans, Cobbetts and Pannone.

Weightmans appears because it has a minuscule equity partnership of just 22 partners, 27 per cent of the total. This means its average profit per equity partner (PEP) is a healthy £265,000, but EPP is down to £119,000. However, net profit at Weightmans is rising year by year, in line with other firms in the region. The North West continues to be a good place to do business.