Small lawfirms are upbeat about recovering from the recession despite the threat of a potential double-dip, according to new research by Wesleyan for Lawyers.
The study – which polled 129 law firms - reveals that 55 per cent of respondents expect fee income to increase in the next 12 months.
More than two thirds (68 per cent) say that they do not expect to reduce their headcount over the next 12 months.
The mood contrasts strongly with the last 12 months which saw almost half of respondents making job cuts.
Furthermore, 57 per cent said that they experienced a decrease in fee income over the same period.
Theresearch also suggests that law firms will require financial services support over the next year. Almost two-thirds said that they are considering taking out loans.
Thiscould be attributed to the renewal of professional indemnity insurance premiums, which three-quarters of respondents said they expect to rise.
NickSanders director at Wesleyan Key Business Finance, sister company to Wesleyan for Lawyers, which provides financial services for legal professionals, said: “While the survey presents an optimistic outlook for the sector, respondents still showed concern over increasing operating costs in an uncertain climate.
“53per cent of respondents expect their professional indemnity insurance premium to increase by more than five per cent, with 20 per cent of expecting an increase of more than 10 per cent. In anticipation of this, 72 per cent of respondents said that they would require finance to cover the cost.
“Ourexpertise in financial services and insight into the legal profession means we are ideally placed to support law firms through the recovery.”