Recruitment is greatest challenge for law firms

10 May 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.




For further information, please contact:

Press information:
Maggie Taylor, Prima PR & Marketing
Direct line: 020 7 846 0096  Mobile: 0797 3767 602 Email:

Helen Hamilton-Shaw, Member Engagement & Strategy Director, LawNet
Direct line: 01926 834622             Email:


Notes to Editor:

About LawNet

LawNet was established in 1989 to enable a collaborative, mutually-owned national network where independent law firms could access big firm resources and benefit from collective purchasing, shared knowledge, best practice and expertise. 

All members share a commitment to excellence and must achieve and maintain LawNet’s own ISO.9001 standard and the associated Mark of Excellence in client service.

The combined aggregate turnover of the 70 firms comprising LawNet is currently in excess of £300m – equivalent to a UK Top 15 law firm – with members ranging from £2m to £25m turnover.

Independent research shows LawNet is most highly valued by members for delivering in six key areas – learning, networking, PII, practice development, marketing, compliance.  It currently places over £1bn worth of PII cover alone for members each year, which helps stabilise premiums for firms.


PKF Francis Clark’s specialist legal team advise over 100 law firms across the UK from sole practitioners to some of the UK’s largest law firms.

Celebrating its Centenary year, chartered accountants and business advisers PKF Francis Clark has annual revenue of £45 million, a team of more than 700 people and 55 partners. The award-winning firm has seven offices across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. PKF Francis Clark is a member of PKF UKI which is ranked 11th in the Accountancy Age 2017 survey of top accountancy firms and the fastest growing in the Top 20.