Partners at Maclays suffer drop in profits

Robert Laing of MMS. Picture: Contributed
Robert Laing of MMS. Picture: Contributed
Share this article
Have your say

PARTNERS’ profits at Maclay Murray & Spens (MMS) have dropped by nearly a fifth after a fall in fee income at Scotland’s third-largest law firm.

The average profit per partner at the Glasgow-based practice fell to £191,000 in the year to 31 May from £233,000, according to newly-filed accounts at Companies House.

The partner with the largest entitlement saw their share of the surplus fall to £292,000 from £397,000.

MMS – which also has offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London – had revealed in August that its turnover had fallen by 15 per cent to £40.8 million.

Pre-tax profits dropped by nearly 29 per cent to £11m.

In their report to partners – formally called “members” of the firm’s limited liability partnership – chief executive Chris Smylie and chairman Robert Laing said: “The board regards these results as satisfactory in light of the challenging economic environment in the UK.”

The firm booked a profit of £242,000 following a management buyout in August, 2012, at its Law at Work subsidiary, which was led by former MMS chief executive Magnus Swanson, with Donald MacKinnon and Jane Wright also taking stakes in the deal, which was backed by HSBC.

Figures released in September by Legal Business magazine showed that Edinburgh-based corporate boutique Dickson Minto had retained its crown as Scotland’s highest-paying law firm, with average profit per equity partner flat year-on-year at just over £1m.

Brodies was second in the rankings, with average profits up 8 per cent to £432,000, while the freshly-combined Burness Paull took third with £343,000.

Shepherd & Wedderburn’s figure dipped by 5 per cent to £251,000, while Dundas & Wilson’s (D&W’s) haul dropped by 19 per cent to £164,000.

International law firm CMS Cameron McKenna, which last month unveiled plans to merge with D&W, fell by 5 per cent to £439,000. Pinsent Masons, which merged in 2012 with Glasgow-based McGrigors, dipped by 3 per cent to £387,000.