Scotland’s law firms are strongly optimistic about the coming year, with rising profits per equity partner (PEP), increasing fee incomes and higher staff numbers according to a new survey by accountants and business advisers BDO LLP.

It found 69 per cent of firms reported higher fee income in the first half of financial year 2014/15 and 44 per cent stating that they would have higher PEP than the same period last year.

A large number (86 per cent) thought it was likely or highly likely that there would be increased consolidation of mid-tier Scottish firms, with 79 per cent believing mergers would be with UK national firms. Over two thirds (69 per cent) said they had been in merger talks but the number one barrier to merging was the lack of a firm with a suitable culture

The survey reveals clear signs of increased confidence in the Scottish legal market and a considerable improvement in financial management since the 2008 economic collapse.

But there is a note of caution as 43 per cent believe it is likely or highly likely that there will be more insolvencies of Scottish firms which, just ten years ago, would have been unthinkable.

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