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Fee income is up, profits are up, and lockup and borrowings are stable.That is the overwhelmingly positive message of a respected annual bellwether of small and medium-sized law firm performance, published today.Figures from the Law Society Law Management Section’s 2018 Financial Benchmarking Survey show that total fee income has risen for the eighth year running, with a median rise of 5.3%. All regions reported growth across all sizes of practice. Most worktypes saw a rise, with the predictable exception of personal injury.Median fee income per equity partner rose once again, by 8.6% to £684,000. This was mainly attributable to a rise in fees per fee-earner, as the ratio of fee-earners to partners was little changed at 5.5 to 1.Median profit per equity partner climbed 6.9% (against 8.4% last time) to £162,161, with firms reporting tight control of IT, indemnity insurance and accommodation overheads. Retention and recruitment pressures helped push up the median cost of a fee-earner by 2.2% to £48,787.Cashflow continues to improve for many practices, aided by lockup which is down by a median five days. Many practices made efforts to retain more cash in the practice, which the report speculates could be in preparation for Brexit-related turbulence and further reform of the sector.Paul McCluskey, head of professional practices at survey sponsor Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, welcomed evidence that firms are getting a grip on costs. But he sounded a warning on the number of practices where partner drawings exceeded profit, with 15% reporting that this had happened for two consecutive years (up from 9% last time).‘I encourage managing partners to take a hard stance against this culture,’ said McCluskey, pointing out that it weakens firms.The survey report, written by Hazlewoods Accountants, is free to download.
GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES South Korean rookie Ahn Sun Ju and Sakura Yokomine tied for second after rounds of 66 and 68, respectively. KONAN, Kochi Pref. (Kyodo) Rikako Morita carded a 2-under 70 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies Cup.The 20-year-old Morita, looking for her first career win on the tour, mixed four birdies with two bogeys to reach 7-under 137 at Tosa Country Club in Kochi Prefecture. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5
BATON ROUGE – The LSU athletic department did not get what it paid for from a major part of the LSU football program in the 2014 season.According to USA Today’s college football assistant coaches’ salary database of virtually all upper level programs released Wednesday, LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is the third highest paid assistant in the nation with a salary of more than $1.3 million. His exact compensation, excluding bonuses, is $1,315,967. LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis earned $1,312,300, for fourth in the nation.The database, which excluded private schools and others that do not release such information, is available at http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/salaries/football/assistant.Cameron’s offense in the 2014 season, though, ranked No. 77 in the nation in yards per game at 383.4, 73rd in scoring offense with 27.6 points a game and 114th out of 125 schools in passing offense with 163.9 yards a game.“Obviously, as the season played out, there were some things we would have liked to have done better,” Cameron said during a pre-scheduled interview on the LSU Radio Network on Sunday night. “I think there were some things we did extremely well running the football and establishing an identity, but we all know there were some things we could’ve added to help us.”LSU finished 27th in the nation in rushing offense with 219.5 yards a game. It was the passing game that was a major problem throughout the season, though, as first-year starting quarterback Anthony Jennings finished 89th in passing efficiency with a 115.3 rating based on a .488 completion percentage and 10 touchdowns with seven interceptions.“I think it’s real simple,” said Cameron, who had little experience at wide receiver as well. “It’s the chemistry and the me-you element, and the completion percentage that we’ve got to solve. Our accuracy has got to improve, and I think it will. We’ve got to improve that completion percentage.”Cameron, who came to LSU after getting fired as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens late in the 2012 season following a decade in the NFL mostly as an assistant, is in the second year of a three-year contract through the 2015 season. “I think there’s no doubt that moving forward we’ll be outstanding on offense,” he said.LSU’s entire staff of assistant coaches is No. 1 in the nation for the second consecutive year in salary with a total compensation of $5,499,269, according to USA Today, with Alabama coming in second at $5,213,400. The Tigers finished 8-4 overall in 2014 and fourth in the Southeastern Conference West at 4-4. The Tigers play Notre Dame (7-5) in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 in Nashville, Tennessee. Alabama (12-1, 7-1 SEC) won the SEC championship and will play Ohio State in the College Football Playoffs semifinal in New Orleans on Jan. 1.Alabama first-year offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin checked in at No. 23 in the nation with a $680,000 salary, but his offense finished 16th in the nation in total yards a game with 490.5, 16th in scoring offense with 37.1 points a game and 21st in the nation in passing with 281 yards a game. And his quarterback — first-year starter Blake Sims — finished seventh in the nation in passing efficiency at 161.9 with a .647 completion percentage and 26 touchdowns against seven interceptions.With senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger and junior wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry last season, LSU finished 33rd in the nation in total offense with 5,893 yards and 43rd in passing offense with 251 a game under Cameron. Mettenberger finished among the nation’s leaders in efficiency at 171.4, and Beckham Jr. and Landry each went over 1,100 receiving yards. All are in the NFL along with running backs Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue from 2013.“We had a special group a year ago as we see those guys playing on Sunday,” Cameron said.Chavis had a better 2014 than Cameron. LSU led the nation in pass efficiency defense with a 98.7 rating and finished No. 8 in total defense with 305.8 yards allowed a game. The highest paid assistant in the nation is Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster at $1,369,500, followed by Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart at $1,355,850.LSU’s third highest paid assistant is recruiting coordinator/running backs coach Frank Wilson, who is 24th nationally at $665,967, followed by defensive line coach Brick Haley at $465,967 for No. 82 nationally, offensive line coach Jeff Grimes at $377,500 for 126th, special teams coordinator/defensive assistant Bradley Dale Peveto at $360,000 for 139th, receivers coach Adam Henry at $349,634 for 154th, secondary coach Corey Raymond at $325,967 for 170th and tight ends coach Steve Ensminger at $325,967 for 171st.COLLINS HONORED AGAIN: LSU senior left tackle La’el Collins won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy from the SEC office on Wednesday after being named to the All-SEC first team by the Associated Press on Monday and by the league coaches Tuesday.