Booth & Co publishes its accounts in openness bid

LEEDS law firm Booth & Co has published its accounts, saying it is breaking new ground in openness for clients.

The firm believes it is the first law practice to publish accounts showing profits both before and after partners' salaries, pensions and benefits have been taken into account.

Booth & Co recorded a profit of £5.018 million under the partnership format used by most law firms, and £1.868 million after partners' benefits of £3.15 million had been added in to expenditures.

Maurice Cowen, joint senior partner, said the firm's 20-page annual review was intended to strengthen relationships with clients.

“Lawyers should not be afraid of giving their clients information about their financial performance,” he said.

More than a dozen clients have already contacted the firm to praise the new-style publication.

Booth & Co marketing director Rachael Culver said: “The response has been fantastic and people think that it is brave.”

She said openness about accounts was becoming more widespread but she knew of no other law firm using the new style, and of one which had rejected it as “too daunting”.

Booths' balance sheet shows assets up from £4.9 million to £5.6 million during the financial year to 30 April 1995. Pre-tax profits were up £687,000, with turnover topping £20 million.

The traditional partnership accounts system can be misleading for those unused to reading balance sheets, because partnership payments and benefits are included in the profit figures.