Brodies bullish on 2020 prospects as income hits record

Managing partner Nick Scott said the firm had seen progress in all of its practice areas. Picture: Contributed
Managing partner Nick Scott said the firm had seen progress in all of its practice areas. Picture: Contributed
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Brodies, Scotland’s largest indigenous law firm, has booked record turnover, triggering a double-digit hike in profits.

The firm, which has a headcount numbering almost 700 across offices in Aberdeen, Dingwall, Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as Brussels, acknowledged the current political upheaval but said individuals and businesses were “getting on with their own agendas”.

It reported record turnover of £76.86 million for the financial year to 30 April, representing growth of 12 per cent. Profits before partner distributions also increased, up 14 per cent to £37.4m.

The firm said that during the first 12 months of its latest three-year strategic cycle, and the first full financial year under managing partner Nick Scott, it had seen progress in all of its practice areas – banking and finance, corporate and commercial, litigation, personal and family and real estate from Scottish, UK and international clients.

The latest results showed that cash balances at the year-end increased to £21.8m, up from just under £19.6m.

Overall headcount in the last 12 months increased to 689 from 645. With six internal partner promotions in place for the current year and four lateral hires, the partnership has reached 100 for the first time, as of 30 April.

Significant growth was seen in Aberdeen, where headcount expanded by 16 per cent over the year with new colleagues also joining the firm’s offices in Dingwall, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Scott said: “While much attention has focused on the Brexit negotiations and the ongoing political upheaval, there has been a better story, much less reported, this year. And that is one of clients – individuals, businesses and organisations – getting on with their own agendas.

“Our response has been to take confidence from the resilience of our clients, and to stick to the task of implementing our own strategic plans.

“In line with those plans the firm continued to invest in its people and infrastructure. The growth in our headcount and partnership shows that we are able to attract excellent lawyers and professionals to our firm.”

This year saw the firm commit to new premises in Edinburgh, at Capital Square, where occupancy will be taken in 2020.

Scott said: “It is essential that our colleagues benefit from a working environment that affords them the very best in modern working practices, consistent with the new offices we have secured in Aberdeen and Glasgow in recent years.

“The move will echo the commitments we have made to sustainability in those locations and will enable us to work more collaboratively with colleagues and clients alike, as well as providing premises that will support our future strategic plans.”

“Whether the 2019/20 year will bring more settled trading arrangements remains to be seen,” he added.