Small and medium-sized law firms canvassed for a respected annual health check have reported solid real-terms growth for the seventh year running.

Median fee income climbed 4.2% in 2018 across the 210 firms who participated in this year’s Law Society Law Management Section Financial Benchmarking Survey.

Median profit per equity partner edged up 1.4%, with 60% of participants reporting higher PEP. The ratio of fee-earners to partners remained steady.

Confidence has diminished this year, however, with practices making a modest median growth prediction of 3.2% for 2018/19. Some 15% of firms reported that partners had drawn more than profits for two years in a row. 

Law Society president Christina Blacklaws commented: ‘With Brexit on the horizon, a degree of uncertainty lingers about the short-term future. Having good management helps firms financially, which will be important for them to remain sustainable as the market changes.’