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By Nick Hood
The UK legal market has been a challenging professional and financial environment for some years now, but 2013 is turning into a truly gruesome experience for lawyers of all specialisms and firms of all shapes and size.
An objective outside observer might be tempted to think that the Ministry of Justice is determined to re-prove Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest by moving the legal goal posts with such rapidity that most players are no longer sure any more which is the goal line, or indeed where the pitch is these days.
Hard on the heels of the most far reaching reform of civil litigation in several generations with the badly bungled implementation of the Jackson reforms, legal aid has been slashed, threatening the livelihood of even more lawyers.
The impact on financial performance is clear, even for the most powerful firms. A recent estimate published on the Legal Business website suggests that the profitability of the UK's top 100 law firms is c.25-30% below their boom-time highs. No wonder there have been cash calls on equity
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Nick Hood is a Director of the legal costs firm, Kain Knight. He is a
Chartered Accountant and also an insolvency practitioner with the
Begbies Traynor Group, as well as a business risk analyst for corporate
health monitoring experts, Company Watch.
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