Professional services to legal firms

At Crowe we understand the opportunities and challenges facing legal firms in Ireland.

We have extensive experience working with solicitors and legal practitioners, providing a full range of accounting, tax and consultancy services.

Crowe’s multi-disciplinary team serving this sector comprises experienced accountants, tax advisors and business consultants. Our mix of strategic and functional skills and knowledge allows us to provide both innovative and workable business solutions for solicitors and their clients.

How we can help

Annual compliance – Financial statements and tax
Our partner-led service approach and dedicated team allows us to work effectively with solicitors and their in house accounting function to promptly prepare annual financial statements. We also provide taxation services to ensure that the financial results are appropriately adjusted for tax purposes to permit inclusion in individual and partnership income tax returns, as applicable.

Reporting Accountant’s Report
The Solicitor Accounts Regulations 2014 oblige all practices who hold client monies to submit an annual Reporting Accountant’s Report to the Law Society. This report must be submitted to the Law Society not later than six months after the accounting year end.

Crowe acts for a large number of legal practices and have significant experience with the specialist accounting packages operated by solicitors. We are familiar with the provisions of the Solicitor Accounts Regulations 2014 and the preparation of Reporting Accountant’s Reports.

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)
The Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 provides for the formation of LLPs, thereby affording partners protection over their personal assets. This structure will be available when the relevant section of the regulations is commenced shortly. Do contact Crowe to discuss the benefits afforded by the LLP structure and the process to convert from partnership to LLP.

Law Society inspection
We have an experienced team of professionals, with particular expertise of the Law Society regulations that can assist you in preparing for a forthcoming Law Society inspection, thereby minimising the disruption to your practice while identifying and resolving any potential areas of weakness and ensuring satisfactory outcome.

Managing risk
We have considerable expertise in internal audit, where we can undertake a risk assessment of your practice, review controls and accounting systems in situ and make recommendations with a view to safeguarding client funds and ensuring best practice, in accordance with the Regulations, is adopted at all times.

Buying, building or selling a practice
We regularly advise and assist sole practitioners and partnerships who seek to expand through the acquisition of, or merger with like-minded individual practitioners and partnerships. We have considerable experience throughout the entire process, including conducting the necessary due diligence on potential acquisitions to ensure appropriate valuation is determined.

We routinely advise retiring solicitors on the specific obligations set out in the 2014 regulations which arise on cessation to ensure full compliance. We also advise on the tax-efficient reliefs available on retirement.

Tax specialists
Our team of tax professionals can advise solicitors and their clients on all the potential tax issues which may arise, whether personal, property or commercial in nature.

Inheritance and estate planning
We work with solicitors to assist them in tax-efficiently advising clients on inheritance considerations, estate planning and related wills. We also assist solicitors in satisfying tax compliance obligations both for the estate and for beneficiaries throughout the period of administration.

Consultancy
Our consultancy team is uniquely placed to understand the business needs of sole practitioners and smaller firms, given the insights gained though our recent work with the Law Society of Ireland on the Crowe Market Study of Sole Practitioners and Smaller Legal Practices in Ireland. Our specialist knowledge of what is needed to create a sustainable legal business in Ireland is applied to our bespoke services including:

Growth strategies
Our consultancy team can provide expert supports to develop a growth strategy for your practice. The end result is a practical, workable plan for your business that defines your future ambition for the practice and plans how to move your practice from where it is today to where it wants to be in the future.

Marketing plans
Our consultancy team works with businesses who want to formalise or develop their marketing activities into a more planned, tactical and client-driven communications plan. By understanding the target market’s needs and purchasing processes, developing compelling marketing messages and defining the most appropriate communications channels, we create a marketing plan that clarifies what is different about your firm and why new clients should choose you from a crowded marketplace and why existing clients should continue to use your services.

Contacts
 

Neil Davitt

PartnerAudit
 

Clodagh O’Brien

PartnerAdvisory