Legal Professionals

We seek not just to solve, but to anticipate the challenges faced by the legal industry. Our insight programme shines a light on the most pressing issues, while working collaboratively to find thoughtful solutions for clients.

We have just launched our 25th annual Smith & Williamson Law Firm Survey. We sought the opinion of over 130 senior executives at UK law firms to examine how they are adapting their businesses to succeed in a changing market.

Together with Legal Week, we analysed the latest set of filed accounts for the top 50 UK law firms to explore the financial health of the profession.

Recognised as a leading adviser to the legal market, we offer a co-ordinated, cross-discipline approach. Our services cross accounting, tax, business, investment management and financial planning, each tailored to the needs of you and your firm. We have capabilities in over 115 countries, provided in part through our membership of Nexia International and Oaklins International. We strive to help our clients achieve their financial ambitions, no matter where in the world.

Day to day advice

Accounting and assurance: Providing accounting advice and comfort on financial reporting in a highly regulated environment

Tax compliance and advice: Preparing and submitting your firm’s and partners’ annual tax returns, along with advising on the tax impact of various transactions and structures.

Firms with growth ambitions

M&A: Full service offering, including due diligence, structuring, project management and post-deal implementation.

Funding: Advising on finance options, including optimal partner funding, improving lock-up management and securing external investment.

Strategic planning

Employee benefitsEnsuring you can attract and retain the best talent.

Partners’ financesA full range of financial planning and investment advice to provide enhanced financial security.

Profit sharingAdvising on profit sharing strategies to drive desired behaviours.

Incorporation: Assisting with the incorporation of a partnership as a company or LLP.

Managing risks

Partnership disputesActing as expert witness and mediating on disputes

Investigations into rogue partner activitiesAssessment of scale of inappropriate behaviours and prevention measures

Data identification post cyber-attacks: Investigation into impact of hacking activity

Administration of insolvent professional practicesFormal appointments and solutions for firms in financial distress

Get in touch

To find out more about how we can help, fill in the below form and a Smith & Williamson contact will get in touch.

Our Services

Law firm survey 2019

Confidence among senior executives is a factor that has been measured over the majority of the last 25 years. Levels of optimism have taken a significant dip this year, in light of the US-China trade wars, tensions in the Gulf, the ongoing Brexit saga and signs of a weakening global and domestic economy.

Alongside lower levels of confidence is continued competitive pressure: from traditional UK firms, US firms and, now recognised as a threat here to stay, the Big 4 accountants. Retention of good people is the number one concern to emerge from the survey, with firms vying to attract the best and brightest minds. It’s not just cyber-security that firms are focusing on in technology investment over the next 12 months with the automation of manual processes and improving the client experience, being a close second and third in terms of priorities.

For the first time the survey asked whether the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) model still best served the needs of the business. There is a clear view that a pure LLP structure may not be the best arrangement to take these organisations forward. This clearly indicates just how much and how rapidly the legal sector has been changing over the last few years.

We also hear from Pam Sayers, a partner in Smith & Williamson’s Professional Practices team, on her reflections of the past 25 years and the changes she has seen first-hand in the legal industry.

Quoted Companies

Legal Week Top 50

On the face of it, the legal market looks to be flourishing, with the top 50 firms generating revenues of over £17bn, but there are signs of fragility.

We look into the issues affecting the legal industry: is the amount of unpaid debt reaching dangerous levels? What might happen if another economic shock hits?

We provide in-depth analysis, in association with Legal Week, of law firm LLP accounts for the year 2017-2018. Using recently filed data from Companies House, we look at everything from debt levels to profit margins to partner capital to build robust insight into the health of the legal sector.


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Professional Practices

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