Profitable anniversary for law firm Harper Macleod

The firm's chairman, Professor Lorne Crerar, pictured with chief executive Martin Darroch. Picture: Ross Gilmore
The firm's chairman, Professor Lorne Crerar, pictured with chief executive Martin Darroch. Picture: Ross Gilmore
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Legal firm Harper Macleod has announced record profitability as it marks its 30th year in business.

The Glasgow-based firm, which also has offices in Edinburgh. Inverness, Thurso and Lerwick, saw overall profits pass the £10 million mark for the first time ever in its most recent financial year, with a 4.2 per cent rise to £10.2m, on turnover of £26.5m.

It highlighted its strong balance sheet allowing further investment, at a time when the legal market within Scotland “continues to face significant challenges”.

The firm also saw it enhance its position as a partner of choice for law firms outwith Scotland requiring advice in the jurisdiction, with a 12 per cent rise in revenue from such work.

Professor Lorne Crerar, chairman and founder of Harper Macleod, said: “This is yet another exciting year for Harper Macleod and I’m delighted that we have entered it in such a strong position.

“While in many ways the business is unrecognisable from the one we started 30 years ago, one thing that hasn’t changed is our culture – that drive to do things differently has stood us in good stead.”

Chief executive Martin Darroch added: “These results show our commitment to a strategy of sanity, not vanity.

“We constantly work to improve the efficiency and productivity of our business and have quietly reshaped our model over the past few years without compromising our bottom line.

“After making a number of acquisitions to further our strategic aims, we said the past few years would be a period of consolidation and I’m delighted to say that has been carried out successfully.

“We have shown growth in all our main areas of activity over the past few years, with the exception of the insurance sector where, after analysing the direction of the UK-wide market, we made a strategic decision to lower the proportion of our business that accounts for.”

The firm said its banking and finance team had increased its level of panel appointments and the scale of transactions it carries out with several of the UKs leading banks. The introduction of a new legal grade structure led to 42 promotions – its biggest ever round.