High Court: law firm “sufficiently well-funded” to cope with freezing order over £2m in fees in its client account
Leading litigation firm Stewarts Law is “sufficiently well-funded” to cope with £2m intended to pay its fees and disbursements sitting frozen in its client account, while the true owner of the money is identified, the High Court has ruled.
There have been some significant thefts from client accounts in recent months, with one in four SME law firms having suffered a cyber-attack or fraud related loss in the last year, according to new research. The poll of 269 firms also showed that income and profit continues to rise, although cash remains an issue.
Fast-growing alternative business structure Knights Professional Services has moved on from private equity funding and giving away an ownership stake, and turned to a major European lender to finance to next stage of its expansion. We revealed last month that James Caan has sold his stake in the firm.
A finance company for law firms has announced that it wants to delist from the stock exchange as it awaits a crucial Supreme Court ruling. It is the first of two Supreme Court cases that focus on interpretation of the minimum terms and conditions for solicitors’ insurance, the second of which was before the justices yesterday.
The latest skirmish in a long-running row between two solicitors whose partnership dissolved in acrimony, has seen the High Court rule that the failure of one to mention to his creditors that he had been struck off was a “material irregularity”.
Finance staff at larger law firms are seeing their pay rise as the market becomes more competitive, a new survey has found – while those working for small firms were the least likely to have had a pay rise in the past year, despite proving the most loyal.
Fee income at SME law firms is on the up, but profits are not matching the growth, with staff and premises costs among the causes, new research has found. There was a “dramatic growth in income” at London firms in particular, with “high-value project work… back on the desk” as corporate deals gathered pace.
There is a serious lack of transparency over the pricing of common legal services, major new research has found – with those providers who do publish their rates and also the ones who offer fixed fees generally cheaper than law firms that do not.
This year could see small and medium-sized law firms struggle to match the growth of 2014 and 2015 as business levels settle into a new, post-recession norm, a major survey by NatWest has suggested. The bank also said that partners should be asking themselves whether the profit they made in 2015 was sufficient.
Law firms are “in good shape financially”, with median income increasing by 5.4% last year, according to Law Society research. The survey found the median fee income for a partner had reached almost £620,000 and a solicitor almost £118,000 – but more partners than last year are drawing too much.