Categories:UK

Profitability plummets at growing number of UK firms

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  • Yeah, like we're all going to starve. I've worked in a highly profitable city firm for over 20 years. I'm not here for the money. I'm only here because I wouldn't be regarded as "good" or well resorced enough to get quality work anywhere smaller. It's about time we lost our obsession with size, greed and money and develeoped a more sophisticated value struture. We all get plenty of money: roll on the day when the market distinguishes status, size and profitability from expertise.

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  • re. @Anonymous | 29-Jul-2013 10:22 am 'We all get plenty of money'

    OMG! A commercial lawyer reveals the Emperor is wearing no clothes: i.e. that anyone making £100,000+ is doing very well in the UK these days and stories about PEP falls are getting daft, if not a little sickening when there are paralegals in this country working on just above the minimum wage.

    Frankly, who cares if a few hundred rich people make a little less money than last year? (They do, but no one else does). If they were listed companies with public shareholders who were affected, that would be something else. But this is just profit for the sake of a few over-privileged lawyers, no matter how much they bemoan their fate. So, thanks very much to the lawyer above for speaking sense re. finding new values to judge lawyers by.

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  • Very surprising that Bond Dickinson (the legacy firm of Dickinson Dees) have yet to publish their financial results.

    Previous years have seen a very positive spin applied to these figures.

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  • re RT

    But if partner profitability falls surely the knock on effect is that everyone else suffers too? Why do people have an obsession with trying to make rich people poorer? wouldn't it be better to try and make poor people richer?

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  • Tom: This is the first commentator. I take your point. My concern is that over the last 20 years or so profit levels seems to have become the sole criterion for judging status, success and quality. It is perfectly possible to be good, small and take home less. We need a more sophisticated value structure that recognises that.

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  • @ Tom

    Over and above a certain level of need equity partners do not really profit in any meaningful way from dumping more cash into their bank accounts. Agreeing not to 'over-consume' the cash in their business does not mean that associates and support staff have to lose their jobs, that is false logic. It just means partners need to behave more rationally and think more long term.

    Moreover, not seeking to maximize short term profit at the expense of all other operating factors and values of a business does not equate to making 'rich people poorer'. Again that is a fallacy perpetuated by those accustomed to economic 'over-eating'; the financially obese always feel hungry and see any reduction in their income as cruel starvation, when it is far from it. There's enough cash in the legal market for most good lawyers to be well rewarded and have fulfilling careers, it's greed and the current business culture that are key factors in preventing this. Just sayin'.....

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  • The first commentator again: We will not be able to reach consensus on the benefits of wealth or socialism in this exchange. For my part, I do think that City firm partners earn more than enough and I tend to agree with the last commentator. Whether or not we agree on whether we earn too much, we're certainly not earning too little. It would help if the legal press (and therefore everybody else) stopped obsessing about the profits league table and - more importantly - the market stopped connecting earnings with their status and ability so closely.

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