The findings of the Society's new Financial Benchmarking Survey are now available.

The overall report provides an indication of the health of Scotland’s legal sector following our survey of the profession earlier this year.

The 2017 survey findings have shown that profits per partner* for all respondent firms have remained relatively static since the previous Cost of Time survey in 2014 at £69,000. However some smaller firms appear to be closing the gap on their larger competitors, with 2-4 partner firms showing an 11% increase in median profit per partner levels to £82,000. This compares with 5-9 partner firms, which showed a 4% increase to £96,000 profit per partner. Bigger firms of over 10 partners showed the highest profits per partner at £125,000.

*Profit per partner figures show the profit before tax and allowances for partner salaries.

Firms which have completed the survey can access their own interactive, confidential report. The confidential online reports provide insight into an individual firm’s position within the legal marketplace, giving our members a useful benchmarking tool to help them run a sustainable and efficient business, while continuing to offer clients a great service. (All data has been anonymised)

The survey has been redesigned with leading technology systems and services provider, Tribal, to enhance the previous Cost of Time survey. The new survey includes several new metrics chosen to assist firms in assessing their financial performance.

Improved reporting functionality includes the ability to view and compare:

  • income and costs by the size or location of a firm
  • a breakdown of the firm’s total costs
  • cashflow management
  • the relationships between the different results, e.g. plotting staff costs against profitability.

100 firms completed the questionnaire, representing 9% of firms in Scotland.

To read the full report or to access your firm’s confidential, interactive report: Financial Benchmarking Survey 2017. You will require a log in to access your individual report. Login details are the same as those used to complete the survey questionnaire. To reset your password please click ‘Forgot your password’.

If you have any questions about the report, please contact the Society at research@lawscot.org.uk or Tribal at lawscot.benchmarking@tribalgroup.com

Each year the Society commissions research on the cost of running a solicitor's practice. The survey is a good indicator of the general health of the profession on an annual basis. It is also a benchmarking exercise which helps solicitors set realistic fees and measure their own performance. Historically the report was valued by the Lord President's Advisory Committee in relation to the Tables of Solicitors' Fees in the Courts.

As the Society withdrew the table of fees in 2005, no recommended fees follow the survey although the historical information it provides about the cost of running the average practice remains highly relevant.

Watch our short video which offers a flavour of the survey and its benefits. When the survey results are available you will be able to:

  • access an interactive, individual report assessing your firm’s financial health year on year
  • compare how your firm has performed in the wider marketplace
  • assess how profitable different parts of your business are to help drive your strategy
  • provide context to staff about the firm’s progress or use it with the firm’s bank manager or accountant.
  • claim up to 3 hours of CPD points for completing the survey

If you have any questions about the survey in the meantime, please contact Tribal at lawscot.benchmarking@tribalgroup.com or the Society at research@lawscot.org.uk