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Editor's letter: Beyond survival

Does your firm have enough cash in the bank to realise its full potential in the coming years, asks Manju Manglani

21 September 2012

Oscar Wilde’s famous quip “anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination” has apparently been taken to heart by some partners and law firms.

The basics of financial management are to: pay off debts as soon as possible; regularly save and invest cash to fund long-term plans; and keep outgoings within current and expected capital. This may be simplistic, but it’s surprising how many law firms are being put at risk by partner drawings at levels well beyond what they should be.

Partners often expect to be compensated very highly and to maintain (or increase) their monthly drawings, regardless of economic realities or their firms’ long-term requirements. Of course, internal politics sometimes play an important role in determining how far managing partners will accommod...

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