Financial stability is crucial for any business and law firms are no exception. A survey released last week showed that increasing profitability remains the top concern for the majority of UK firms, despite the fact that the last financial year was a record-breaker for the UK’s legal market , with revenue, profit and headcount numbers for the top 200 UK-headquartered firms all at record levels.
Nevertheless, the particular structure of the legal market, where people are the biggest asset and also the biggest expense, is clearly demonstrated with the publication of LLP accounts for UK firms. Dealing with historical staff expenses remains a key priority for a number of firms.
Nabarro, Simmons & Simmons and Stephenson Harwood, which all had good years turnover-wise in 2013/14, are among those paying large sums into final-salary schemes that pay pensions to former employees.
Nabarro is currently paying £750,000 a year into its final-salary scheme and Simmons is shelling out £200,000 a month. Stephenson Harwood’s bill hit £1.2m in 2013/14. The figures show why most firms closed their final-salary schemes to new entrants years ago.
Most of that was short-term debt. The firm’s longer-term borrowings fell, and while staff costs rose with the absorption of Manches’ employees, turnover was up by more – making the acquisition worthwhile.
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- A total of 10 law firms, including new entrant Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, have made the cut in this year’s list of the top 100 gay-friendly employers by LGB charity Stonewall
- Nabarro and its European allies have established a single umbrella brand , Broadlaw, in an effort to unify their offering to clients
- RadcliffesLeBrasseur has signed a nine-year lease on 28,000 sq ft of office space in the old Reuters building at 85 Fleet Street