Financial Benchmarking Survey 2018

Knowing just how your business is performing is a crucial aspect of running a successful firm.

Completing the Law Society’s financial benchmarking survey, which is completely confidential, helps firms of all sizes, from sole practitioner and high street firms to large scale commercial firms, assess their financial performance and also provides insight into the financial health of Scotland's legal sector as a whole.

All firms are invited to take part and cashroom partners will receive an email from independent researchers Tribal, inviting them to take part. The free and confidential online questionnaire has been improved and streamlined to make it even easier to complete in 2018 - all that is required is your firm’s most recent set of accounts and Master Policy renewal information. Technical support is available from Tribal if required and participants can claim up to three hours CPD.

All survey respondents will receive a confidential report for their firm as well as access to the general report on the financial health of Scotland’s law firms which will be published on the Society website.

Taking part allows firms 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 for their firm, e.g. plotting your staff costs against profitability

The 2018 financial benchmarking survey is open from 13 February until 23 March.

The 2017 survey findings showed that profits per partner (before outlays) for all respondent firms have remained relatively static since 2014’s cost of time survey 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.

100 firms completed the 2017 questionnaire, representing 9% of firms in Scotland. To read the full report or to access your firm’s free, 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