Scottish legal firm Complete Clarity achieves record fee income, salary increases and £50,000 staff bonus pot for 2024

23/06/2023
Billy Smith and Emma King

A SCOTTISH legal firm which has established its own unique corporate culture is experiencing a dramatic acceleration in fee income, with revenues rising 47 per cent this year and projected to more than double by 2025.

Glasgow-headquartered Complete Clarity Solicitors and Simplicity Legal, posted annual turnover of £1.5 million in the year to May 2023, up from £1.1 million last time.

And, with profitability levels substantially higher than budgeted, the firm has now redistributed that record breaking profitability within the firm itself resulting in this month delivering substantial salary increases to all staff.

This is in addition to the introduction of a £50,000 bonus pot which will ensure up to a £2,300 pay-day addition for each staff member who worked for the firm to exceed the targets set in the financial year with the incentive that more is yet to come.

The firm has also boosted its headcount to 25, including 12 qualified solicitors and 3 trainee solicitors, and a four-strong client services team whose activities have been critical in supporting the most recent fee performance.

Founded in 2010, Complete Clarity also owns Simplicity Legal, which it established in 2015 with the aim of filling a gap in the market for fixed fee family law work and merged with in 2017.

Billy Smith, Director of Complete Clarity and Simplicity Legal, said: “The firm has been performing well in excess of expectation, driven by the culture which we have consciously developed in recent years and also by structural changes to our commercial activities.

“It all flows from a policy of creating the best possible legal environment for our staff which generates a stream of ancillary benefits, not least of which are providing excellent service for clients while optimising fee income.

“I have learned from experience not to fall into the trap of lawyers who tend to forget that they have clients, but to focus on giving advice which is firmly based on commercial and economic good sense.”

Complete Clarity has established a system of attracting talent from non-traditional routes, typically hiring diploma students and bringing them on to be legal assistants, then trainees before fully qualifying as solicitors. It has some lateral hires, but most practising staff have come through the firm’s bespoke recruitment process.

Staff are divided into Clans, or teams, tasked with contributing to the commercial viability of the firm. Three Clans are made up of lawyers and the fourth is the client services team, which responds to phone, email and contact request enquiries.

This last Clan, said Mr Smith, has a target response time of 15 minutes, and its efficiency has not only secured significant new business which might otherwise have drifted to competitors, but has also been crucial to recent performance success.

The second contributory element has been Clarity’s decision to outsource its fee processing and CRM to Denovo Business Intelligence, the legal case management software firm. It bills on a directly created time and line basis, creating greater transparency for staff and clients than the previous system of using a law accountant.

Mr Smith added: “It has always been our ambition to encourage our staff to be the best version of themselves, allowing us to design a legal service which is very simple, but very valuable to our clients – a fresh, but always professional method of solving legal problems.

“I am delighted that the firm has reached its target of £1.5 million in fee income this year and, if it is not posting £2.5 million by 2025, I will consider that to be a failure.”

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