The legal profession is one of the key sectors in our local and regional economy offering excellent standards of legal advice.

Within Yorkshire, Leeds forms the largest legal market with Sheffield following second and Bradford, York, Hull and Harrogate also offering a very broad selection of disciplines.  In addition to these larger concentrations of professional practices other regional towns have firms offering a wide spectrum of advice to the huge diversity of businesses and individuals within the community.

Our legal sector is also facing constant change and regulatory pressure and has not been immune from the effects of the economic downturn.  Saturation levels appear high in the larger cities in our region and this has seen a move to many firms specialising very heavily in specific niche services.  Such firms have then been left particularly susceptible to fluctuations in activity levels in their chosen markets.

Our involvement in the legal sector stems from many years of advising small to medium sized practices trading as Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Companies, traditional partnerships and sole practitioners. Our advice covers compliance matters, taxation management, accounting and business advisory matters. We have also built on our knowledge by keeping in regular contact with local practitioners directly and by attending events aimed specifically at professional practices.

The team at Kirk Newsholme specialising in advising our professional practices is lead by Jill Wright.  Jill qualified with Ernst and Young in Leeds in 1990 and was first working with legal practices during her training at E&Y. Jill now oversees all the firm’s work in relation to legal practices and works closely with her specialist tax team to offer best advice to those clients. The Kirk Newsholme Legal team has a deep understanding of and an affinity with the issues that legal practices face such as:

  • The importance of establishing the most appropriate vehicle through which to operate the practice and the importance of addressing ownership,  profit share and drawings issues at an early stage;
  • Managing the financial and non-financial reporting mechanism within the practice so that maximum benefit is obtained from the information without excessive effort being required to prepare the information;
  • The importance of timely management information to facilitate appropriate action in an appropriate timescale;
  • Managing finances and budgeting for large, less frequent cash outflows;
  • Managing the ratio between the major costs of the business (‘people costs’) and the fee income of the practice;
  • High levels of taxation in an increasingly complex and constantly changing tax regime;
  • Recruiting and keeping good quality staff and managing the costs of training and developing those people;
  • Access to other business contacts for specialist advice and for developing new and existing business streams;
  • Managing in an ever changing environment, for example the introduction of Outcomes-focused regulation (OFR) and Alternative Business Structures (ABS);
  • Increasing levels of red tape and compliance from the regulatory authorities and
  • Difficulties in obtaining professional indemnity insurance at reasonable costs and how best to approach the annual renewal process to obtain the best cover.

It is all of our interests that the legal community continues to thrive in our region and at Kirk Newsholme we are committed to continuing to play an active role in supporting our clients and business contacts in this sector.

For more information about how we could help your business please call Jill Wright on 0113 204 4219 or email

Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Law Society
The Legal 500
The Legal Service Commission