Recruitment is greatest challenge for law firms
Recruitment is the most pressing challenge for mid-size independent law firms according to benchmarked research, which showed almost a quarter of the firms surveyed ranked it their biggest issue, over efficiency and process, data management or partner performance management.
The results were drawn from the annual LawNet financial benchmarking survey, which is undertaken independently by the specialist legal team at PKF Francis Clark. Each year, members are asked a range of questions in various areas including financial performance, people structure, financing and practice management issues.
The resulting financial and management information is merged with insight on the financial health of the whole UK legal sector to enable firms to compare their own performance with similar firms in the member network and beyond.
Andrew Allen, who heads the legal sector team at PKF Francis Clark said: “Benchmarking helps firms see trends and we combine that with suggestions to aid decision making, so it is based on reliable data and focused on improving future financial strategic thinking and planning.”
He added: “The underlying message from the survey in 2018 is clear; firms are most concerned about attracting and retaining the best people to deliver services to clients, while operational effectiveness on a day-to-day basis comes in behind.”
Chris Marston, chief executive at LawNet added: “Benchmarking is not just about knowing what’s happening today; the long-term value is in how it focuses attention and drives action in key areas, such as reducing lock up, where we’ve seen impressive progress across our member firms in recent years.”
He added: “There’s real value in being able to see how your firm’s performance compares specifically with your peers, as well as the sector at large.”
The questionnaire was completed by members of LawNet from July to September 2018, covering a range of questions in various areas including financial performance, people structure, financing and practice management issues at Q3/2018. Survey participants were also asked to comment on the greatest challenges for the future in their respective firms and asked to rank their three choices in order of greatest significance, with 23% saying recruitment was their biggest challenge. Insights into the overall UK legal sector are also compiled by PKF Francis Clark.