21 solicitor firms in Kilkenny have five or fewer solicitors. The Law Society of Ireland has today launched a report and strategic plan to support and develop these ‘smaller firms’.
Launching the report, Law Society of Ireland Director General Ken Murphy said, “Small law firms and sole practitioners are in almost every town and village across Kilkenny and throughout Kilkenny City and are absolutely vital to the sustainability and success of their communities.”
“Smaller law firms are the engines of the Kilkenny economy and local economies across rural and urban Ireland and provide effective legal solutions to their clients in all of life’s major milestones. If you are buying a home, making a will, or negotiating a difficult family law situation, it is more than likely that you are working with a small firm or sole practitioner.”
Lifeblood of local communities
The report, authored by Crowe, is based on an extensive body of research involving a survey of hundreds of smaller firms from all over Ireland, focus groups and in-depth case studies. It makes eleven strategic recommendations to assist sole practitioners and smaller practices to grow their businesses and achieve greater success for themselves, their staff and their local communities.
“Smaller firms and sole practitioners are the lifeblood of their local communities,” Mr Murphy explains.
“Solicitors employ thousands of people in sustainable, high-quality professional jobs, provide effective legal solutions for neighbouring SMEs and individuals and help steer their clients through the major milestones of business and of life.”
“The distribution of firms across the country in even the smallest towns and villages is something that must be protected,” said Mr Murphy. “As local post offices and bank branches close, the local solicitor’s office is more vital than ever.”
“When these law firms succeed, the communities they serve are more successful.”
Key economic drivers across rural and urban Ireland
“Smaller law firms aren’t simply like small businesses – they are small businesses. They have unique characteristics; a sole practitioner, for example, is a business owner as well as a solicitor and must be adept at running a business as well as practising law. Many of the challenges smaller firms face are similar to those faced by other business owners and SMEs. The Law Society is working to support smaller firms as businesses as well as lawyers.”