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Law firm unveils record revenue

‘No need for merger’ says Brodies chief

Bill Drummond
Bill Drummond: no need for merger

Scottish law firm Brodies has no intention of following its rivals into a merger, according to its managing partner.

Following the announcement that Maclay Murray & Spens is being acquired by US firm Dentons, Bill Drummond told Daily Business: “We never look at merger or takeover activity as a strategy. We see absolutely no need for it.”

Maclays was the latest Scottish firm to merge with another practice and will drop its name later this year.

After reporting revenue growth of 2.4% to a record £66.7 million, Mr Drummond said Brodies was focused on “making sure we are relevant to our clients’ needs.”

Speaking from Geneva, he added: “We have no intention of being taken over or merged with anybody.”

On current market conditions he said there appeared to be more stability and confidence in the Scottish economy across all sectors than a year ago.

Profits before partner distributions at Brodies rose by 2.6% to £31.7m and the firm’s cash balances increased by 14.4% to £18.2m.

This was the seventh consecutive year of revenue and profit growth for Scotland’s largest indigenous law firm which has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Brussels.

There are 94 partners, 311 other professional advisers and 217 support staff.

The year’s highlights included its role as lead legal adviser to Aberdeen City Council on its landmark £370 million index-linked bond issue on the London Stock Exchange.

It also advised Business Stream on its acquisition of Southern Water’s non-domestic business and Abellio on its sale of 40% of the Greater Anglia rail franchise to global conglomerate Mitsui & Co.

In a statement with the annual results, Mr Drummond added: “All in all, it has been a very busy and at times quite dramatic year for Brodies and our clients, which underscores our satisfaction in recording another year of enhanced business performance for the firm across a number of measures.”

“Along with most of our clients – British or overseas – at Brodies we were surprised by the news, on 24 June last year, that the UK had voted to leave the EU and the consequences for Brexit and the economy are now having to be further digested following the UK General Election result and the absence of any one party with a clear majority at Westminster.

“Against this backdrop the increase in income that we are reporting is a satisfactory outcome for the year, indeed a new high point for the firm. Our underlying strategy continues to be focused on further investment in relevant client services to deliver sustainable, profitable growth.

“That said, in common with our clients, we hope and expect our politicians and negotiators in the years ahead to be pragmatic and collaborative in their dealings with our EU partners to ensure that as little economic damage as possible is done and that we can continue to grow our businesses and create long-term job opportunities in Scotland.

“To us, as with many clients, it is especially important that Scotland is able to retain and welcome workers from the EU and elsewhere who make such a valuable contribution to most sectors of our economy.”

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