Law Update: Provincial losses

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LAST year was the worst in a decade for solicitors, according to a survey compiled by the Centre for Interfirm Comparison, quoted in International Financial Law Review. Provincial firms were hardest hit. Nearly a third made a loss, and the average profit per partner dropped from pounds 25,000 to pounds 11,000. London firms did better, although some 40 per cent saw reduced profits. On average, the profit per partner was pounds 90,000 compared with pounds 100,000 two years ago.

The survey suggests that the capital's firms were more successful because they depended less on conveyancing work, benefited more from growth in litigation, had a higher staff-to-partner ratio and made greater efforts to cut costs.