Brodies says growth due to its ‘focus on Scotland’

Bill Drummond. Picture: Mike Wilkinson

Bill Drummond. Picture: Mike Wilkinson

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LAW firm Brodies said yesterday it was continuing to reap the benefits of its focus on the Scottish market as it announced a third consecutive year of revenue and profit growth.

The firm, the largest in terms of turnover and partners based in Scotland, said substantial investment across the business as part of a three-year strategic plan was paying dividends.

Although revenue growth in the year ended 30 April saw a slowdown to 7.5 per cent from the 16 per cent in the previous year, turnover has increased by over 28 per cent since the full impact of the global economic downturn was felt in 2009-10.

Revenues came in at £46.01 million and operating profits before partner distributions were £19.3m, a 9.3 per cent increase.

Although the profit per partner figures will not be made available until later in the year, it is understood these saw an increase on the previous year.

Managing partner Bill Drummond, pictured below, said despite the “sweeping changes” seen through mergers, takeovers or collapses among law firms in Scotland over the past year, Brodies’ focus had remained unchanged.

“By keeping clients at the heart of everything we do, and by maintaining our reputation as an independent firm that is home to many of Scotland’s top lawyers, we hope to continue to deliver the sustained, organic growth we have seen over a decade and more,” he said.

The total number of Brodies staff at its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Brussels grew 4 per cent from 513 to 534. Over the same period, the number of fee-earning staff increased from 318 to 326 and the number of partners from 74 to 75.

Particular growth was seen in its Aberdeen office, which grew from 34 to 46, including six additional lawyers.

Other investment in areas including IT saw operating expenses rise by 6.4 per cent to £26.8m.

Brodies said it continued to have no reliance on external debt and has maintained a strong cash balance, which has been in excess of £6m for each of the past three years.

Drummond added that the major changes being seen in the legal sector would continue but that he believed the firm was well-placed to continue to grow.

“The targeted investment that is being made across the business – in people and infrastructure – positions us well to benefit from stabilising market conditions, and our strong balance sheet means that Brodies’ management team can continue to seek suitable investment opportunities to further enhance the service we deliver to our clients.”

The Scottish legal sector has seen a wave of mergers and tie-ups in the past 18 months include the deal between McGrigors and London-based international firm Pinsent Masons.

Burness and Paull & Williamsons have also joined forces to create one of the largest practices in Scotland.

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