Morton Fraser banks sixth annual revenue rise

Morton Fraser has unveiled a sixth consecutive year of revenue growth although profits fell after investment in its workforce and refocusing its core offering.

Chris Harte, chief executive of Morton Fraser, hailed the firms refocused core offering. Picture: contributed

The Scottish legal firm, which employs more than 270 people, recorded a like-for-like annual revenue rise of 5 per cent to reach nearly £22 million in the year to 30 April.

It attributed the gain to a “talent first” approach and investing “heavily” in specialist legal professionals, as its like-for-like headcount increased by 6 per cent over the same period.

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However, profits fell by around 12 per cent as the firm, which divested its residential property offering during the year, directed funds into specialist staff across teams such as banking and finance, corporate, commercial property, employment, medical negligence and private client.

It also created two legal technologist roles which are focused on optimising the firm’s use of technology.

Morton Fraser also highlighted its role in several major transactions in the last 12 months, including advising drinks giant Diageo on the development of its new Johnnie Walker visitor experience, and acting for the investment arm of Singapore Press Holdings in relation to the acquisition of several purpose-built student accommodation assets in Scotland.

Key contract wins in the year include the appointment to provide “extensive” legal services to VisitScotland’s property portfolio.

The firm continues to operate its company-wide bonus scheme, which will see employees earning up to 10 per cent on top of their salaries this year.

Chief executive Chris Harte said: “Investing in people has allowed us to build some of the strongest specialist legal teams in the country.

“The divestment of our residential property department and the creation of legal technologist roles has focused our offering on core legal services at a time when clients are seeking embedded, independent advice about the Scottish landscape.”

Morton Fraser operates from offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow and counts the Scottish and UK governments, Royal Mail Group, The Ministry of Defence and Tesco among its client portfolio.