Harper Macleod reports record figures

Lorne Crerar Martin DarrochLaw firm Harper Macleod has increased its share of the Scottish market and announced a record performance for the last financial year.

Profits for the year to 31 March rose to £9.08 million from just under £8 million last year, on a 17% rise in turnover from £22m to £25.7m.

The business, the second largest professional services partnership in Scotland with 72 partners, has enjoyed significant growth across the country, including a greatly increased presence in Edinburgh and a venture into Shetland.

Chairman Professor Lorne Crerar said: “This has been, beyond doubt, the most impressive year to date for Harper Macleod and a very important indicator for us is that our growth has been across the full spectrum of the sectors of the Scottish economy, broadly categorised as private, public or third sector.”

Harper Macleod continues to play a role in Scotland’s startup and high-growth eco-system, partnering with key organisations including Entrepreneurial Spark and the Scottish EDGE fund.

Sport also remains an important part of the firm’s identity, last year seeing it join forces with GUINNESS PRO12 Champions Glasgow Warriors to launch the Harper Macleod Club Deck at Scotstoun Stadium, while the firm is also Official Sponsors of Scottish Swimming.

HM Connect, the legal support and referral network which counts more than 290 independent high street and rural firms among its members, continues to grow and collectively represents a major client of the firm.

Chief executive Martin Darroch, who took up his post a decade ago when the firm’s turnover was £10m, said: “Clients of law firms are no different from those in every other industry – they are demanding high quality services that are delivered in the most efficient and value-added way.

“Our performance has also enabled us to attract talented people to the firm and maintain our strategy of organic growth with a sole focus on the Scottish market. That’s a market which isn’t growing as a whole, so the only way to thrive is to increase market share and that’s exactly what we’ve done.

“We have made significant investments in the past year and with a strong balance sheet are well placed to make moves where we see a real benefit. However, we expect this to be a year where we consolidate the significant additions we have made to the maximum benefit of our clients and our people.”

Highlights of the year include:

  • New, greatly expanded Edinburgh Office at Citypoint Haymarket – now home to 20 Partners
  • Acquired leading Shetland firm Dowle, Smith & Rutherford
  • Team of 10, including five partners, joined from former McClure Naismith
  • Won place on all six lots of the new Scottish Government Legal Services Framework
  • Partner of leading business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark and the Scottish EDGE fund
  • Supporters of Glasgow Warriors rugby club
  • Winner of CSR Firm of the Year at the Scottish Business Awards
  • ISO 27001 Certification for Information Security
  • Signed the Scottish Business Pledge and became a Living Wage Employer


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