Brodies sees Brexit opportunities as revenues rise 12 per cent

Brodies, which positions itself as 'Scotland's largest full-­service law firm', today reported a double-digit hike in fee income and said the Brexit vote presented both challenges and opportunities.

Bill Drummond, managing partner of law firm Brodies. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Releasing details of its latest accounts, covering the financial year to 30 April, the firm said revenues had grown by 12.4 per cent to £65.1 million. Profit before partner distributions increased by 14.2 per cent to £30.9m while cash balances rose 7.3 per cent to £15.9m.

It marks the sixth consecutive year of revenue and profit growth, which the practice credited to “sustained investment” across its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

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Brodies competes against other indigenous peers such as Burness Paull and Anderson Strathern, as well as the Scottish operations of UK-wide and international heavy­weights including Pinsent Masons, which also published its results today, revealing a 5.5 per cent rise in global revenues to £382.3m.

Bill Drummond, managing partner of Brodies, said the firm’s partners were “satisfied” with the progress made over the past year.

He added: “It is clear that we have entered a period of uncertainty, however, we stand ready to support organisations and individuals, whether in Scotland, the rest of the UK or overseas, in facing the challenges that the Brexit vote will present as well as the opportunities that will undoubtedly emerge.

“As Scotland’s largest full-service law firm, with the range of specialist expertise that we can offer clients, we are ideally placed to provide relevant, commercially-focused advice on the legal issues relating to Brexit and to help guide clients’ business decisions.”

The firm has already set up a “Brexit advisory group” to provide dedicated advice.

During the period under review, the total number of lawyers and staff at Brodies grew from 603 to 631. The number of partners rose from 82 to 91, though the current figure now stands at 92.

The firm said it had completed the second year of its 2014-17 strategic plan, “delivering sustained organic growth and a double-digit increase in turnover and profit without having to borrow or resort to merger”.

Pinsent Masons’ accounts showed that the firm’s profit per partner increased by 2.3 per cent on the previous year to £550,000.

While there was no revenue breakout figure for Scotland – where the firm employs some 550 people in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen – it was involved in some of the largest corporate deals completed in the past year, including Total’s £585m disposal of the St Fergus gas terminal and North Sea infrastructure.

Kirk Murdoch, Scotland and Northern Ireland chairman, said: “We have had a very positive year. We are giving our clients in Scotland what they ask for, and they are responding to that. The start of 2016 has been very positive.”