Profit margins fall across UK top 50 as staff costs soar

More than half of the UK top 50 have seen their operating profit margin fall since 2013-14

Operating profit margins at the UK’s largest law firms are continuing to fall despite an increased focus on efficiency, as staff costs rise on the back of weighty associate pay hikes.

An analysis of limited liability partnership (LLP) accounts for the 2016-17 financial year, carried out in conjunction with professional services firm Smith & Williamson, shows that the average profit margin for the UK top 50 has dipped by 1% every year since 2014-15.

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