Fee income jumps at legal heavyweight Pinsent Masons

Legal heavyweight Pinsent Masons today reported double-digit turnover growth, though the figure was flattered by currency movements.

Ewan Alexander, partner and head of Pinsent Masons' Edinburgh office. Picture: Contributed
Ewan Alexander, partner and head of Pinsent Masons' Edinburgh office. Picture: Contributed

The London-headquartered firm, which merged with the venerable Scots practice McGrigors in 2012, released unaudited results for 2016-17 which shows global turnover rising by 11 per cent to £423.1 million.

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Almost 85 per cent of revenues were generated from clients operating in the firm’s five “global” sectors, with the largest contributors “advanced manufacturing and technology” (21 per cent) and financial services (20 per cent).

Excluding the impact of currency fluctuations, Pinsent achieved like-for-like turnover growth of 7 per cent on the previous year. No breakout figure for profitability has been disclosed at this stage.

The figures follow a year of “substantial investment” at the firm, including the opening of its first office in Africa, the appointment of a six-strong partner team in Madrid, and the outlining of plans to open a technology and financial services focused practice in Dublin.

Pinsent, which has more than 500 staff based across its Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow operations, also expanded its legal resourcing hub – Vario – into Australia, and acquired a 20 per cent stake in legal start-up business Yuzu.

Ewan Alexander, partner and head of the Edinburgh office, said: “The results reflect a successful year in which Scotland’s largest infrastructure deal and Europe’s largest tech deals in the last 12 months were sourced and resourced by our Scottish corporate teams.

“To address increasing demand from investors for specialist fund capability, we recently recruited funds expert David Young and his appointment as a partner in our insurance, regulation and products [operation] strengthens our financial services sector capability.”

John Cleland, the firm’s managing partner, added: “We are expanding our business to support clients not just across a wider range of geographies and legal service lines, but also across alternative forms of delivery model which provide innovative ways to address the challenges they face.

“That we have been able to combine that growth with improved profitability gives us significant confidence going into what is an unpredictable year.”

Globally, the firm employs some 2,500 people in total.