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Law firms in the north second in the UK

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The north remains the country’s second largest area for legal activity according to the latest Financial Benchmarking Report from NatWest and RBS.

The report – now in its second year – looks at the financial performance of small and medium enterprise (SME) law firms operating outside of the UK top 100.

According to the survey, commissioned by NatWest and RBS’ commercial banking division, law firms across the north east and north west achieved an 11 per cent increase in profit from the previous year.

This delivered partners profits at £20,000 above the national average – putting them second only to firms in London.

This year’s report includes financial results from over 380 firms (an increase of 12 per cent compared to last year) as well as a survey of delegates from the banks’ 2013 Legal Conferences – attended by 400 legal professionals.

Adam Fletcher, managing partner at Ridley & Hall LLP in West Yorkshire – who is featured in the report – said:

“With the legal market continuing to change at a rapid pace, never has it been so critical to ensure that focus is on profitability and financial stability.

“I am not aware of any other benchmarking report within the sector that has access to such a library of financial data providing a wealth of financial information.

“Last year’s report allowed us to fully understand how we were performing financially compared with other law firms.

“What has become apparent is that the issues identified as a result of reviewing last year’s report were often interlinked, and while only requiring small improvements have had noticeable impact on profitability.”

Peter Gray, head of professionals NatWest Yorkshire & North Derbyshire, said:

“Last year was another challenging one for the legal sector, however, optimism seems at an all time high with some great performances recorded across the country.

“As the largest and only free benchmarking report in this space, this report provides a truly representative picture.

“We hope firms will use it to help them interpret their performance compared to their peers and indentify areas where they can improve future financial performance and security.”

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