Weekly Legal News Round-Up

A round-up of legal news from around the UK.

City AM are reporting that the UK’s top law firms grow profits amid consolidation in the sector – THE UK’s 100 largest law firms made combined profits of £5.8bn in 2012-13, according to new data, an eight per cent increase on the previous year amid a flurry of M&A activity among the sector. Research out this week from Legal Business magazine also shows that the top segment of the UK’s legal market billed its clients a total of £19.1bn in the most recent financial year, and that the sector’s top paid equity partners – at London firm Slaughter and May – took home £2.55m each. City firms DLA Piper and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer were among the best performers, both boosting average profits per equity partner (PEP) by eight per cent. Read more.

Legal Futures report that A third of law firms are under financial pressure and may require refinancing or an injection of capital. Commissioned by leading costs firm Kain Knight, financial health specialist Company Watch said that 898 of the 2,600 firms that file accounts were in trouble. Smaller law firms are most likely to be vulnerable, with the research confirming that half (463 out of 932) of firms with assets of less than £100,000 are in the Company Watch ‘warning area’. Read more.

Insider News Nohttp://www.deferolaw.com/profiles/blog/newrth West are reporting that law firm Kennedys is to merge with Scottish firm Simpson and Marwick. Kennedys said both firms have experienced “significant growth” over the past five years and the merger gives clients access to greater resources and services via a network of international offices. The merger will take the combined number of partners in both firms to 220 and the total number of staff to over 1,500 worldwide. Read more.

The Telegraph are reporting that Lawyers at top City firm are earning a minimum £1.3m a year. They reckon partners at the City’s most profitable law firm are earning a minimum of £1.3m a year, according to a new report, though researchers warned that the broader picture is of firms fighting for business in an “overlawyered” world. Read more.