Brodies reports fifth consecutive year of growth as revenue hits £58m



BrodiesScottish lawyers Brodies LLP have reported an 11.2 per cent increase in turnover to £57.94 million for the 12 months to 30 April 2015.

During the past financial year, the firm continued to develop client services across its offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, increasing costs by 8.8 per cent to £30.9 million, leading to a 14.2 per cent increase in profits before partner distributions to £27.1 million.

Cash balances, meanwhile, increased by 52.6 per cent to £14.85 million.

The results marked the fifth consecutive year that the company, which is one of Scotland’s largest law firms, reported growth in turnover and profits.

Over the past decade, the firm’s investment-led organic growth strategy has delivered a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent.

Investment activity included opening a new purpose-built office in Aberdeen to accommodate Brodies’ growing 70-strong team; recruiting lawyers regarded as leaders in their fields; internal promotions to enhance the delivery of key services; and sustained investment in IT and technology. Later this year Brodies’ teams in Glasgow will move into a new office at 110 Queen Street, further enhancing client facilities.

In 2014/15, the total number of lawyers and staff at Brodies grew 7 per cent from 564 to 603, taking the firm’s headcount above 600 for the first time. Over the same period, the number of partners rose from 80 to 82 and the number of other lawyers and professional advisers from 268 to 293; an increase of 9.3 per cent. Following the recent recruitment of a three-partner family law team to expand its nationwide private client legal services for Scottish and international individuals, families and their advisers, the firm currently has 92 partners, 294 other lawyers and professional advisers, and remains the largest law firm in Scotland.

Highlights of the year have included:

  • Successful completion of the first year of the firm’s 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. Brodies continues to have no reliance on external debt.
  • Three lateral partner hires and four partner promotions, strengthening our teams in corporate & commercial; real estate; public law & regulatory; business disputes & asset recovery; insurance & risk; personal & family; and land & rural business.
  • Becoming one of the first UK law firms to achieve certification to the 2013 version of ISO 27001 for our information security management system, implementing global best practice to safeguard firm and client data.
  • Moving into a new, purpose-built office - Brodies House - in Union Grove, Aberdeen.
  • Expanding Brodies’ PRIME programme, a pioneering initiative by the UK’s leading law firms to widen access to the legal profession to young people from all backgrounds, offering 26 places to school pupils from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Bill Drummond
Bill Drummond

Bill Drummond, managing partner of Brodies, said: “The past financial year saw gradual improvement in the Scottish and wider UK economy, the historic referendum on the question of Scottish independence and continued change in the Scottish legal market, with the disappearance of yet more well-known independent firms. Against this backdrop, Brodies focused on delivering and investing in client services and engaging with individuals, business and organisations across the UK on the legal aspects of potential constitutional change.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made, building on our sustained growth over the past decade and more with the successful completion of the first year of our current three-year strategic period. Improved economic stability led many clients to invest in their businesses and ventures and re-visit their personal affairs, and as a result our lawyers have been busier than ever, with those handling disputes and regulatory issues becoming particularly active in the second half of the year. Our corporate team advised on several of Scotland’s highest-profile M&A deals, while banking & finance, energy, transport and real estate performed strongly, and there was a significant upturn in international activity.

“A strong balance sheet coupled with being owned, headquartered and run in Scotland enables us to seize opportunities for the benefit of clients quickly and efficiently as they arise, whether investing in technology, new premises, new services, developing our people or hiring leading lawyers.

“We remain focused on our strategy of delivering on client needs in all sectors that are central to the sustained future success of the Scottish economy. We are grateful to our clients for their continued support and for putting their faith in us to advise them on business or personal matters.”