The legal sector has undergone significant changes recently, including the introduction of the SRA’s new handboook in October 2011. With years of experience in the solicitors sector our dedicated team is on hand to help you make sense of the relevant regulations, meet your obligations, and support you with your day-to-day responsibilities.
Wilkins Kennedy are ideally placed to help you reach your goals. We take the time to listen and to understand you and your practice’s objectives, an approach which means that we work with you to create solutions that fit with your overall strategy and meet your needs. We currently act for a number of solicitors, both national and local, and we strive to keep abreast of new developments so that we are able to advise on issues as they emerge.
WK Law produce a regular newsletter that highlights developments of importance to the legal profession, and run a series of briefing seminars throughout the year. For more up to date discussions on the issues affecting this sector please join our WK Law Group on Linkedin.
WK Law services
We have developed accounting and support services specifically tailored for solicitor clients. These services include:
- Compliance with professional regulatory requirements, such as the SRA Accounts Rules
- Annual statutory audit and accounts preparation
- Tax and financial planning
- The structuring of partnerships and partnership agreements
- Conversion to Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
- Advantages and disadvantages of incorporation
- Managing mergers, acquisitions and de-mergers
- Strategic planning
- Valuations of work in progress
- Partnership capitalisation
- Remuneration planning for partners and employees
- Succession planning
- Lexcel consultancy
- Wealth management
Wilkins Kennedy carry out SAR compliance reviews and compile Accountants’ Reports to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
We can also advise on the operation of client accounts to ensure that potential breaches are minimised or eliminated without the firm suffering from additional administrative burdens.
We see the annual audit and accounts preparation as more than a statutory requirement. It provides an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive and objective appraisal of the financial aspects of your organisation in which recommendations can be made to help improve efficiency and profitability.
By taking a holistic view of your business, we are able to work with you to highlight areas of risk, both current and in the future.
Our tried and tested audit and accounts methodology involves detailed planning and communication with you and your staff. This way we can ensure that we identify any major considerations at an early stage.
Effective communication also means that we are able to deliver your audit and accounts on time having regard to your commitments and reporting requirements.
We provide a full tax compliance service so that you and your partners do not have to worry about completing their own tax returns, and we can prepare the partnership return as well.
We can also help with tax planning advice so that tax liabilities are legitimately minimised, and ensure that the tax planning strategies that are put in place meet the commercial objectives of the firm, and the personal objectives of the individual partners.
We also have a specialist VAT advisory team who can assist with this increasingly complex area of tax.
We can advise on matters such as:
- partner remuneration
- exit arrangements
- capital contributions
- property ownership and
- various other matters that affect the way your firm is structure
and help ensure that these are properly reflected in the partnership agreement.
Many professional firms have converted to LLP status. We can advise on whether this is the right structure for your firm and, if it is, help you through the conversion process.
Full incorporation can bring benefits for firms, but there are some disadvantages to consider. We can help identify the pros and cons with you and, if incorporation is the right route for your firm, help you to achieve that status as smoothly as possible.
There is a trend for firms to merge or acquire other practices; and, sometimes, for offices or divisions to spin off or demerge. Managing these transactions to ensure that they are effective for all concerned and are carried out with the minimum of disruption needs specialist expertise.
This is where we can help – with due diligence, tax and financial planning, identifying and helping overcome areas of difference, such as in procedures and IT systems. Our specialists have a wealth of first-hand experience in this field.
We work with our clients to identify their strategic goals. Having identified these, we then help firms formulate action plans and relevant key performance indicators so that they can measure progress in meeting those goals.
The valuation of work in progress can be a particularly complex area, especially where fees are due on a contingency basis. We have considerable expertise in dealing with WIP valuations and the effect that UITF 40 has on this area.
Cashflow and the availability of capital are major limiting factors on partners’ ability to draw down profits. We can help you identify areas where there is excessive lockup-up of debtors and work in progress, formulate and implement strategies to deal with this and help manage your partnership capital to best advantage.
Recruiting and retaining the right partners and staff is key to any firm’s success. We can help with creating reward structures for partners and staff that are tailored to your circumstances and needs.
One major concern for partners is to have rewarding, tax-efficient exit strategies in place that also ensure the firm continues successfully after their retirement. We have expertise in this field and can advise on retirement planning and exit/continuity strategies.
We calculate key performance indicators for our clients and their peer groups. We then compare results to help our clients identify critical areas for improvement as part of their strategic planning, and assist with formulating and implementing improvement programmes.
Please download and complete our benchmarking questionnaire. When you return this to us, we will add you to our database and keep you updated with the results of our annual benchmarking survey.
A number of our specialist team are accredited Lexcel consultants. If your firm is considering applying for Lexcel accreditation, we can work with you and help you to ensure that your systems, procedures, documentation and processes are ready for evaluation.
In conjunction with our financial advisory arm, WK Financial Management, we can provide a full range of wealth management services, from pensions and insurance advice to full discretionary portfolio management.