“Mirror mirror on the wall, what does 2017 hold for us all?”
“Whilst in the past there was none as fair as you, now the future is only for the privileged few”
There seems to be a feeling amongst solicitors that we are standing on the edge of a precipice. The recent headlines in the Gazette have shown two very different stories. On the one hand we are hearing about record profits per partner in the top end of the industry, with an increasing staff roll and a continued push for globalization whilst, on the other hand, we have heard of the squeezed profits on the major personal injury firms, the contentious council loans to support some firms and the sheer number of firms entering administration or other financial arrangements with their creditors.
However, it is far too simplistic to suggest that the Goliaths are succeeding at a time when the smaller firms are struggling. There is no doubt that, amongst the smaller firms, there is a very significant proportion that are enjoying increased profiles, profitability and success. Likewise, we have read of major firms that are being seriously challenged.
Being in costs gives me an enviable perspective. I am seeing the files from literally hundreds of client firms and have the benefit of hindsight to consider what they are doing right or otherwise.
Reflecting on the files that I have seen it is perhaps fair to suggest that those firms who are fully aware of the sector’s development are able to succeed come what may. When the rules change it is often daunting and scary but, with the benefit of hindsight, I can categorically confirm that those clients who planned and were prepared were able to take it in their stride.
This year is going to be full of changes but my colleagues and I will ensure that we approach the critical dates with a sense of calm and control. We are actively working on the new format bill (that had been referred to as J Codes) and will shortly have a system to ensure that we are fully compliant. We continue to update you with the technical developments and I urge you to take on board the advice that we have given. To take the example of proportionality, it is critical that this is addressed and considered in advance to allow a reasoned and reasonable approach.
They say that doctors make the worst patients now, as solicitors, we must heed our own advice and ensure that we obtain all the necessary advice and support.