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As turnover rises 12% at law firm...

Pinsent Masons ‘planning more investment’

John Cleland PinserntyPinsent Masons, the international law firm, expects investment to be higher in the current year, building on ‘significant’ expansion in the last twelve months, according to managing partner John Cleland.

Reporting a 12% rise in turnover, Mr Cleland said the firm had “reaped the rewards of several significant investments we have made over a number of years.”

He highlighted the May 2o12 merger with Scottish firm McGrigors, together with office openings in Paris, Munich and Istanbul, and top level appointments in Asia and the Middle East.

“This has been an ‘investment-lite’ year by our own recent standards, and I would anticipate that over the next year we will make more investments than we did in the last,” said Mr Cleland who was elected in December following a three-man contested election involving property head Adrian Barlow and client operations head Richard Masters. It was the first contested managing partner election at the firm since David Ryan was first elected in 1998.

“We’ve made great progress towards our vision of becoming an international leader in the global sectors in which we operate, and these results position us well to move further and faster in that direction.”

The firm reported turnover for 2014/15 of £362.2 million and profit per equity partner of £538,000.

Offices opened in Sydney and Melbourne and it made up a record 29 partners – including five in Scotland – to take the firm’s partnership to more than 400.

The firm also announced the appointment of Bruce McKinnon, former managing partner of Aberdeen-based McKinnons, to head up its litigation practice in the city.

Pinsents acted on deals worth more than £5 billion in Scotland during the last financial year.

It has some 345 fee-earning lawyers across offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and – more than any other firm in the country.

Ewan Alexander, a partner and head of the Edinburgh office at Pinsent Masons, said: “It’s been a vintage year for us in Scotland with Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh all reporting good activity levels.  What we’ve found is that the Pinsent Masons/ McGrigors merger has yielded even more opportunity than we anticipated.

“Our standing in the City is better than it has ever been, and we have an integrated and growing presence in regions like Asia Pacific, The Middle East and Europe where our Scottish clients want to do more business.

“Our growth in Scotland has been driven by some fairly chunky deals for investment in and around the North Sea, a number of major commercial property transactions, and continued roles on some of the largest infrastructure projects in Scotland such as the new Forth Rail Replacement Crossing and Aberdeen West Peripheral Bypass.

“We’ve since kicked-off our new financial year with the £500m sale of Murco and the IPO of Cairn Homes, which reflects a general upturn in corporate activity.”

The firm reported that its online compliance product Cerico, delivered through a joint venture with Glasgow-based IT consultancy Campbell Nash, had experienced strong trading during the period.

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