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Law Firm Practice Comparison

NZ Law SocietyThe 2015 Law Firm Practice Comparison Report is now available

To purchase a copy click here to download an order form, or contact the NZIBR and we'll be happy to assist you.

Survey Background

The Law Firm Practice Comparison has been conducted, in association with the NZ Law Society, for over 27 years. The survey has been developed and refined over this time through the input of legal practitioners, practice consultants and Waikato Management School academic staff. As a result the reports generated from the survey have become a trusted source of information for practice comparison and business improvement.

Online Survey: in 2013 the survey was conducted online for the first time. Feedback received from those completing the online questionnaire was overwhelming positive. The added benefits to participants included:

  • the online questionnaire calculated subtotals and other calculations required by the survey
  • input and logical errors were identified at entry – saving time in correction/recheck requests
  • access to the survey could be shared and progress saved until completed and submitted

Performance Measures

The comparison enables firms to benchmark their practice's results against similar practices. Principals can compare key financial and non-financial indicators with participating practices allowing them to identify strengths and weaknesses within their practice and yields essential information for management decisions, budgeting, and goal setting.

This survey results provide firms with the following KPIs:

  • Net Profit per Equity Partner
  • Gross Income per Equity Partner
  • Hours Charged per Year
  • Billing Efficiency
  • Staff Turnover
  • Charge-Out Rates
  • Expenses as a % of Gross Income
  • Source of Fees
  • Gross Income per Staff Member
  • Staff per Fee Earner/Principal

In addition to the above financial information, various practice policies and characteristics are also reported to provide a useful view of, and insights into, how other firms have structured their practice.

Results Publication

The survey generates a wealth of financial and practice management information that is presented in various report formats to enable inter firm comparisons. Summary reports breaking down the overall survey results by income bands, source of income, structure/#partners, and location of premises are presented in tables and graphs to afford additional views of the performance of firms of various profiles.

Past Reports

This comparison is conducted every two years. If you would like information about purchasing the 2013, 2011 or earlier reports, please contact the New Zealand Institute for Business Research.

Contact the NZIBR Direct: Phone: 07 858 9458 or

NZIBR Executive Director

Associate Professor Eva CollinsAssociate Professor Eva Collins

NZIBR Research Support Officer

Vijay KumarVijay Kumar