​Supporting the business of law

Today sees the launch of The Lawyer Management (TLM), a fortnightly newsletter focused on the wide range of critical functions including technology, HR and marketing that support the business of law.

We’re kicking off with finance. Amid the wealth of data unveiled by this year’s The Lawyer UK200 Annual Report was a new indicator of a firm’s financial health: its level of debt.

This year for the first time we asked firms to tell us their total borrowings at year end. The question was a nod to the increasing transparency in the UK legal market and the fact that most firms now report debt data in their LLP accounts.

But with many firms taking six months or more to file, the UK 200’s data offers an ahead of time glimpse into the debt levels at some of the UK’s top firms.

And it makes compelling reading. As we report today, Minster Law and Optima Legal, two of the UK’s biggest volume legal services providers, have emerged as two of the firms with the highest levels of debt.

Over the coming months TLM will focus on all key support aspects, many of which are aimed at getting these debt mountains down and delivering legal services as efficiently as possible.

Elsewhere in this launch issue, check out our story on the lack of training senior judges are likely to get next year as the Jackson Reforms kick in; BLP’s thoughts on the matter; plus this week’s competition/regulatory peer panel, which shines a light on the growing use of predictive coding.

You’ll also find a link to the TLM interview in this week’s The Lawyer plus the latest round-up of vendor news, including Slaughter and May’s acquisition of Recommind’s Decisiv Search as its knowledge management search solution.

Matt Byrne