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Editor's blog | The new normal

High street firms should expect continued falls in profit, claims a new survey

22 February 2013

Life on the legal high street during the recession hasn’t been so bad after all, it seems. Fees per equity partners in smaller firms rose by 2 per cent last year, and profit by 6 per cent. Profit as a percentage of fees stood at 23 per cent, which is in line with pre-recession figures and suggests that five years into the downturn, law firms have been resilient.

These are some of the findings in last week’s NatWest benchmarking report. The bank canvassed 337 firms around the UK, whose total combined income was £1.05bn and which, altogether, employed about 15,200 people. So, while this is not a comprehensive survey, it ought to give a reasonably fair snapshot of the situation. And interestingly, it only canvassed small and medium-sized firms rather than the top 100, whose financial health is under mor...

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