Law firms report rising revenue under new UK ownership rules

August 27, 2012 The financial results are starting to come in for the first law firms to adopt the alternative business structure model in the UK, which permits non-lawyer ownership of and investment in law firms. Two of the early takers were Co-operative Legal Services] (CLS) and Slater & Gordon, and both have reported rising revenues in their latest financial reports.

The Co-operative Group has announced that revenues generated by its legal arm in the first half of 2012 rose by 19 per cent to £17.1 million. The firms operating profits shrank by a dramatic 63 per cent in the same period - down to £700,000 over the half-year - as the firm undertook a program of investment to take advantage of its ABS status.

CLS has big plans under their new legal structure, and intends to become the dominant figure in the UK retail legal market, offering legal services in all of its 330 high street stores.

Meanwhile, Australian firm Slater & Gordon, which acquired UK firm Russell Jones & Walker in April for £53.8 million, has posted a 19.4 per cent rise in revenues for the 2011-12 financial year, earning A$218 million (£143 million) for the year. Profits were down 10.5 per cent to A$25 million (£16.4 million) after tax.

Slater & Gordon listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2007, and needed an ABS license from the Solicitors Regulation Authority in order to complete the takeover of RJW.

Read more at www.legalweek.com.

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