Brodies reports eighth consecutive year of revenue growth

Nick Scott

Scottish law firm Brodies has reported that in its financial year to 30 April 2018 revenues grew to £68.59 million, from £66.68 million in 2016/17.

Profits before partner distributions also increased, up 3.5 per cent or £1.1 million, to £32.86 million, compared to £31.73 million the previous year.

When compared on a like for like basis with the previous year’s results, minus the disposal of the Personal Injury business in the previous financial year, the firm has added £4 million to annual revenue, up by 6.2 per cent year on year.

Overall headcount increased from 567 to 645, which included 5 internal partner promotions and one lateral hire, bringing the partnership to 97. The firm also opened its first office in the Highlands, with the addition of Dingwall to its existing locations of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Brussels.

With the firm’s current strategic planning cycle having ended in April 2018, the results show Brodies having increased annual revenues in that period by £16.49 million (31.6 per cent), from £52.1 million in 2014 and annual profit in the period by £9.25 million (39.2 per cent).

Margin for the year to 30 April 2018 was 34.6 per cent, demonstrating the firm’s commitment to sustainable, profitable growth. Cash balances at the year-end were £19.6 million, up from £18.24 million in April 2017.

Brodies’ managing partner, Nick Scott, said: “Our clients continue to be busy across all key sectors of the Scottish economy, as well as in the wider UK and overseas.  We listen very carefully to clients to understand what they want to achieve, and we have set out to build our business to provide all of the quality legal services that are relevant to those clients and their markets. It is pleasing to see this reflected in another year of solid growth for our firm.

“By investing in people, IT and property, we have been able to deliver sustainable, profitable growth. Sharing this success with our people is key and as a result of their hard work, the firm will be paying its firmwide bonus to all eligible staff in recognition of their commitment to our firm and our clients.”

In assessing its progress against its business objectives, Brodies considers a range of financial and other relevant objective measures. Highlights of the financial year in review include:

· Advising the shareholders of Barrhead Travel Group, one of the UK’s biggest retail travel firms on their acquisition by US travel company, Travel Leaders Group; advising Craig Group Limited on the sale of North Star Shipping – one of Scotland’s largest M&A transactions; working with Abellio on its bid for the East Midlands’ rail franchise and ongoing involvement in the St James project in Edinburgh for APG, one of the UK’s largest and most significant regeneration projects, with completion due in 2020.

· Achieving 40 top tier practice area rankings and 68 ‘leading individual’ lawyer rankings in the independent legal directories – more than any other firm in Scotland.

· Named Legal 500 Scotland Regional Firm of the Year 2018 and Scotland Law Firm of the Year at the 2018 Who’s Who Legal Awards for the seventh time. Also awarded best implementation of systems of technology at the Managing Partner Forum Awards 2018 for ‘Workbox’, an online employment and HR tool created by Brodies.

· Continuing to drive PRIME in Scotland, a pioneering initiative by the UK’s leading law firms to widen access to the legal profession to young people from all backgrounds, which involves school pupils from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. The firm has now provided over 115 students with one week of work experience across all of our offices and our first trainee to have come through PRIME will join the firm in 2019.  Nick Scott was appointed to the board of PRIME, the only Scottish representative on the board.

· The firm’s modern apprenticeships programme saw four of its apprentices secure permanent positions within the firm.

· Providing continued support for the Scottish Schools Swimming Association, bringing healthy team sport to schools from Shetland to the Solway, and Maggie’s Centres, our charity partner until 2020 for which we have raised more than £235,000 in the last 10 years.

· Achieving Investors in Young People gold award

“As we move forward in our new strategic cycle to 30 April 2021, we do so against a backdrop of continued political and economic uncertainty,” continues Scott. “Whilst we await the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, in our own business we take heart from the resilience of our clients and the new opportunities they create, with challenging and innovative mandates. We have seen the evidence of that already in our new financial year, with our services in strong demand right across our business.

“These results underpin our strategy of continued investment in market leading services, attracting new talent – Tony Jones QC joined the firm as partner this month – and developing excellent people in all roles across our offices to ensure that Brodies remains the best place for lawyers to give, and our to clients receive, top quality legal advice.”

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