find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Profit growth greatest for small firms

Profit growth greatest for small firms

money

Small firms achieved significant growth over FY15, while large and mid-sized firms held their ground, according to a new report.

Macquarie’s 2015 Legal Benchmarking Results report showed that one in every two firms surveyed increased profits in 2015, down from 57 per cent in 2013. 

The average increase across all firms was 10 per cent. Small firms achieved the largest increases, with an average of 14 per cent. Large firms grew their profits by five per cent, while mid-size firms held steady at two per cent growth.

The report was based on a survey of equity partners, directors, CFOs and general managers at 226 legal firms across Australia, ranging from sole practitioners to large national firms.

"We've heard so much about the shrinking demand for legal services, disruptive technology, new low-cost virtual firms, the 'big four' accounting firms moving in […] yet almost two thirds of the firms we surveyed grew," said Ian Marshall, national head of legal segment, Macquarie Business Banking.

The key drivers of profit growth, according to survey respondents, included retaining quality staff, maintaining strong client relationships and providing excellent service.

Large firms tended to see relationships as key (75 per cent), while ‘high performers’ (firms that increased annual profits by 20 per cent or more) saw retaining talent and making investments in technology as important.

Broken down by state, WA saw the highest profit growth of 15 per cent (2015 compared to 2013), followed by NSW (14 per cent), South Australia (6 per cent), Victoria (5 per cent), and Queensland (-1 per cent).

Salaries and wages remained the largest expense for firms, making up 52 per cent of costs, while rent and premises accounted for 13 per cent of expenses on average.

Positive outlook

Firms were optimistic for the coming year, with 72 per cent expecting their profits to rise and one third predicting an increase of 20 per cent or more.

Eighty-four per cent of Queensland firms predicted higher profits for the next financial year, compared with 63 per cent of WA firms.

One in four WA firms forecast that the legal industry would perform worse over the next 12 months, along with 39 per cent of South Australian firms.

Large firms were most optimistic, with 81 per cent predicting stable conditions and none saying conditions would worsen.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017


Profit growth greatest for small firms
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microscope
Dec 18 2017
‘Exorbitant legal fees’ under government microscope
With the growing number of class action proceedings in Australia, the government is looking at how ...
Funds, money, cash
Dec 18 2017
Law Access WA receives welcome funding
Law Access Western Australia has received a grant from the state government to fund its pro bono leg...
Thomson Reuters adds to Practical Law team
Dec 18 2017
Thomson Reuters adds to Practical Law team
Thomson Reuters has appointed an experienced real estate lawyer to its Practical Law Australia team....
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...