Legal

When it comes to helping lawyers, we’ve had plenty of practice

For more than 20 years, we’ve been helping legal practices throughout the region manage the financial side of their business. Over that time, we’ve built up a substantial client base in the legal sector and now represent more East Anglian lawyers than any other firm.

Our legal team have many years’ experience and our team leader, Jon Woolston, is one of the top ten legal specialist accountants in the UK.

As well as handling your business accounts and tax affairs, we can provide specialist advice in several key areas for legal practices.

Business advice

Current rules on ownership of legal practices can leave solicitors with a lot on their plate – managing their practice while working in it at the same time. Our business advice service helps to take the pressure off, providing a sounding board for new ideas and a valuable outsider’s perspective on the issues facing the practice. Read more about business advice from Larking Gowen here.

Solicitors’ Account Rules

Any money you hold on behalf of clients must be handled in accordance with Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules. Most firms achieve basic compliance, but inaccuracies and irregularities do creep in. We can carry out a specific audit of your systems and processes for handling clients’ cash, and submit a report to the Solicitors Regulation Authority on your behalf.

Our expertise ensures that your client money is appropriately ring-fenced, and that you have the right systems for recording transactions accurately and completely. We can also suggest ways to tighten up your processes to reduce the risk of errors.

Legal Services Act

Under the Legal Services Act, law firms need much more robust processes for internal review and assessing risks. As part of MHA, we can offer constructive advice on the financial aspects of the Act, making sure your systems are fully compliant.

Business structures

More and more legal practices are considering becoming LLPs (Limited Liability Partnerships) or limited companies. Changing business structure provides more freedom in terms of ownership, allowing external investment into the firm while potentially bringing in new management expertise and freeing up partners to focus on client work.

We can advise you on the options for a change in business structure and give you an honest assessment of whether it’s worthwhile. If you decide to go ahead, we’ll guide you through the process of making the switch, including setting up shareholdings and remuneration systems.

We can also help with the process of obtaining external finance, including developing business plans and projections for potential investors. Read more in our guide: Incorporating Law Firms.

Personal tax

As well as handling all your business tax affairs, we can take care of the personal tax arrangements for partners in a legal practice.

To learn more about our services for legal practices, or to arrange a no-obligation discussion, please call Jon Woolston on 0845 450 2462.