Finance


Divorce is not a “blank cheque” for litigation, judge warns

27 November 2018

Litigation is not a “blank cheque” and divorcing people cannot behave on the basis that they are bound to be reimbursed for their costs, a leading family law judge has warned.


High Court orders partner to sell his share of law firm

8 November 2018

The High Court has ruled that a partner in a law firm who paid himself £16,500 after he had left the firm and was “effectively competing with it” breached his director’s duties.


Biggest client’s “IT disaster” tipped firm into administration

29 October 2018

A “disastrous IT failure” suffered by a law firm’s biggest client tipped it over the edge into administration and a pre-pack sale to fast-growing national firm Taylor Rose TTKW.


Partner fails to strike out bank’s claim under guarantee

29 October 2018

A former partner of a London firm that went into liquidation has lost his bid to strike out Barclays Bank’s claim to enforce a guarantee he provided to cover a loan and overdraft.


Bank backing for listed firm’s acquisition ambitions

16 August 2018

Knights Group – the Staffordshire-based law firm that listed in June – has secured bank funding to support its strategy to complete at least three acquisitions by April 2020.


Client bid to stop £33,000 repayment to law firm fails

31 July 2018

A client who received a mistaken payment of £177,000 from a law firm and only paid back £144,000 has failed to overturn a judgment in default.


Appeal court rejects firm’s £4.5m claim over “missing referrals”

27 July 2018

A personal injury law firm has lost its appeal against a High Court ruling that dismissed its £4.5m claim over referrals from an insurer that did not materialise.


Court of Appeal cuts QC’s £1m penalty for tax late payment

23 July 2018

A QC fined more than £1m for the late payment of both income and inheritance tax over several years has had the sanction reduced by 80%.


Law firm insolvencies rising sharply, research finds

13 June 2018

Insolvencies in the legal sector are set to double this year if trends seen in the first quarter of 2018 continue, indicating a possible downturn in the fortunes of law firms, it has been claimed. The figures also indicate that law firms may be waiting too long before seeking help.


Call for action as firm hit by big VAT demand for electronic property searches

11 June 2018

The risk of solicitors being landed with hefty VAT bills for electronic property searches has become a reality for at least one law firm, which has now received a demand from HM Revenue & Customs for tens of thousands of pounds. It has heightened the call for the tax treatment of postal and electronic searches to be made consistent.


Payment processor replaces conveyancers in “UK’s first fully digital mortgage settlement”

31 May 2018

A payment processor has taken the place of conveyancers in handling the finances on completion day in what has been claimed to be the UK’s first fully digital mortgage settlement. It could spell the end to clients waiting with the removal van in the afternoon for money to be transferred between lawyers.


Law firm finances creaking as falls in PI and conveyancing work take their toll

16 May 2018

Small and mid-sized law firms need to accept that lower levels of profitability are becoming the “new normal”, it was claimed yesterday. Their income is also falling, with firms of 11-25 partners recording the biggest drop last year – 11% – compared to only 1% for sole practitioners.


Investigation of law firm accounts reports “tripled in two years”, impact report shows

11 May 2018

The number of qualified accountants’ reports due to rule breaches has fallen by two-thirds since the rules were changed in 2015, but the amount then being investigated for possible rule breaches has tripled, it has emerged. A handful of them have led to regulatory action as a result.


Fees up but profits down as firms struggle with productivity, says report

8 May 2018

Profit per equity partner is down by 10%, although other performance indicators are up, according to an influential benchmarking report of SME law firms, published today. However, although PEP was down – from £120,000 last year to £108,000 – median fees per equity partner were up by an inflation-busting 5.4% to £539,000 last year.


Large London firms embracing agile working and AI could cut collective £495m rent

26 April 2018

Twice as many large City law firms had adopted ‘agile working’ policies by the start of 2018 as had a year earlier, and have been quicker than non-law businesses to embrace artificial intelligence technology, according to a survey about office use. Between them, the top 100 firms – when ranked by office floorspace in London – spend a total of £495m per annum on rent.

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