How to improve law firm profitability and ensure positive cashflow

how to improve law firm profitability

Profits and positive cashflow are extremely important for law firms as they serve as a measure of the financial success and sustainability of the business. If a law firm isn’t making a profit and generating positive cashflow, it may indicate that the firm is facing financial difficulties and may need to take action to improve its financial situation. Some of them main reasons profits and positive cashflow are so important for law firms include:

  • Outflow v inflow: Profits and cashflow reflect the balance between the firm’s revenues (income) and expenses (costs). By maximising profits and cashflow, the firm can ensure that it is generating enough revenue to cover its costs and invest in future growth.
    • Growth and expansion: Profits can provide a financial cushion that enables the firm to expand and grow, either by hiring new staff or acquiring new clients.
    • Attracting and retaining talent: Profitable firms are better able to attract and retain high-quality staff, who are essential to delivering exceptional legal services to clients.
    • Reputation: Law firms that are known for their financial stability and profitability are often more attractive to clients and are seen as more reliable and trustworthy.
    • Financial stability: Profits provide a measure of the financial stability of the firm and can help to ensure its long-term viability.

    It is clear that profits and positive cashflow are important indicator of the financial health and success of a law firm and play a crucial role in enabling the firm to grow, attract talent, and maintain a positive reputation. But, what if your firm isn’t generating a profit and cash outflow exceeds inflow? We have listed some advice below on how to improve law firm profitability and ensure positive cashflow.


    Improving law firm profit margins

    It is important for a law firm to regularly review its financial performance and take proactive steps to improve profitability if necessary. This may involve re-evaluating expenses, diversifying services, or seeking new sources of revenue. A professional accountant or financial advisor can provide valuable guidance and support in this regard. Recovery First works alongside professional advisors, providing assistance to those looking for ways to increase law firm profits.

    Solicitors can increase law firm profits by taking a number of steps to improve the financial performance of their firm. Some strategies that solicitors can consider include:

    • Streamlining operations: Solicitors can reduce costs and improve efficiency by streamlining operations, such as automating manual processes within their case management system, reducing unnecessary expenses, and improving the use of technology.


    • Attracting new clients: Solicitors can increase profits by attracting new clients, either through marketing and advertising or networking. Digital marketing through the use of your website, blog posts and social media can be a cheap and effective method of attracting new clients and increasing profits.


    • Understanding your firm’s finances: Understanding your finances is essential for improving law firm profitability. It may be useful to use real time data, KPI’s and tracking metrics such as your firm’s collection rate, realisation rate and utilisation rate to get a more in-depth understanding of your firm’s finances. Review your finances and make decisions on which expenses can be cut to reduce costs for your firm and increase profitability. Get advice as early as possible to ensure you make the best decisions for your firm.


    • Maximising legal costs recovery: Fee earners should ensure they get their costs budgets and bills of costs right to ensure maximum recovery upon settlement of a case. All billable hours, billable tasks, disbursements and fees should be accurately recorded within budgets and subsequent bills of costs to ensure all time spent working on cases is generating a profit.


    • Restructuring: In some cases, a law firm that is not making a profit may need to undertake a restructuring of its operations or business model in order to improve its financial situation.


    • Diversifying services: Solicitors can increase profits by diversifying the services they offer to clients, such as expanding into new practice areas.


    • Exiting an unprofitable area of law: Making the strategic decision to cease operating in specific practice areas to focus on more lucrative markets may help your improve law firm profitability. With the assistance of Recovery First, you can ensure a smooth, compliant exit from any market, placing files with the most suitable firms from our panel of solicitors, allowing you to preserve the value of your locked-up WIP.


    • Free up value locked in your WIP : If you decide to exit an unprofitable or less profitable market, you could choose to transfer your existing files to an alternative firm of solicitors. Using the Recovery First method will ensure you recover the maximum value locked in your work in progress, thus helping to improve cash flow when you need it most.


    • Merging with another law firm: Merging with another law firm can help to improve profitability as it provides increased market share and more power to compete with larger law firms. If you are considering merging with another firm, but either firm does not wish to operate in a specific area of law offered by the other merging firm, Recovery First can assist firms in exiting an unsuitable market and placing files with the right firm on our panel.


    How can Recovery First assist?


    Recovery First understand the importance of ensuring your firm is making a profit. If you require advice on how to improve law firm profitability and cashflow, we can discuss your options with you and recommend the best options for your firm going forward.

    We can work alongside your firm to help you leave a less profitable market, increase profitability by releasing value from your work in progress, and assist if you choose to take the merger or acquisition route for your firm.

    In the worst-case scenario, you may be required to close your firm due to insolvency. Recovery First can assist you in this situation to ensure a compliant closure of your firm.

    Our process involves discreetly selling a firm’s cases to multiple purchasers on our panel of solicitors. This mitigates the risks to the buying firms and results in a higher value for the work in progress being recovered and provides you with a share of any success fee, whilst ensuring SRA compliance.

    Our team manage the whole process from transfer of files to appropriately qualified panel firms suited to deal with your unique client matters through, to collection and management of costs at conclusion. Our fees are only payable as a proportion of what you recover, so there is no risk to you.

    If you would like to find out more about Recovery First’s process, feel free to get in touch with our Managing Directors on a confidential basis: David Johnstone at, or 01357 440140, or Sally Dunscombe at or 01357 440140.


    It's never too late to speak to Recovery First. Contact us now in the strictest confidence

    Sally Dunscombe:

    David Johnstone:


    01357 440140

    Manchester Address

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