Anniversary year boost

Seventh year of profit growth for Harper Macleod

Lorne Crerar Martin Darroch, Harper Macleod

Lorne Crerar and Martin Darroch: ‘the business is unrecognisable from the one we started 30 years ago’


Scottish law firm Harper Macleod has marked its 30th anniversary with a seventh year of record profitability.

Profits passed the £10 million mark for the first time, with a 4.2% rise to £10.2 million on turnover of £26.5m.

At a time when the legal market within Scotland continues to face significant challenges, the firm maintained its strong balance sheet, providing it with the ability to make further investments over the coming period.

There was also a 12% rise in revenue from supplying advice in its jurisdiction to law firms outwith Scotland.

Chief Executive Martin Darroch said: “These results show our commitment to a strategy of sanity, not vanity. We constantly work to improve the efficiency and productivity of our business and have quietly reshaped our model over the past few years without compromising our bottom line.

“After making a number of acquisitions to further our strategic aims, we said the past few years would be a period of consolidation and I’m delighted to say that has been carried out successfully.

“We have shown growth in all our main areas of activity over the past few years, with the exception of insurance sector where after analysing the direction of the UK-wide market we made a strategic decision to lower the proportion of our business that accounts for. It is this type of pro-active planning which has allowed us to thrive.”

Since the firm acquired smaller firms Bird Semple (Glasgow, 2014), DSR (Lerwick, 2015) and Allen & Shaw (Inverness, 2016), the value of Harper Macleod’s private client and residential property practice has more than doubled and private individuals have become its largest client group.

At the same time it has registered growth in all other key sectors including Public Sector, Energy & Natural Resources, Real Estate & Construction, Banking & Finance and Food & Drink.

It is active in the entrepreneurial arena, supporting initiatives including Scottish EDGE and partnering with organisations such as Crowdcube, the equity crowdfunding platform. 

Professor Crerar, chairman and founder, added: “This is yet another exciting year for Harper Macleod and I’m delighted that we have entered it in such a strong position.

“While in many ways the business is unrecognisable from the one we started 30 years ago, one thing that hasn’t changed is our culture – that drive to do things differently has stood us in good stead.” 

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