Activity rises

Burness Paull staff rewarded amid signs of upturn

Peter Lawson
Peter Lawson: uptick in activity

Staff at Scottish law firm Burness Paull will get a 7.5% rise in annual salary on top of performance-related bonuses after the firm performed strongly over a shortened eight-month reporting period.

The practice said it had changed its year-end to 31 March to align with market norms. Turnover for the period came in at £60.1 million, producing a profit of £24.3 million.

The additional payments to all staff are pro-rated to account for the shortened financial year.

Burness Paull said it generated growth across its offering as it continued to strengthen and extend key practice areas.

It also pressed ahead with ongoing investment to attract and retain talent, enhance creativity and collaboration, maximise efficiency, and further progress against responsible business and sustainability objectives.

Headcount in the business has risen above 700 and AI-powered solutions have been rolled out or are being tested with a view to maximising the value the legal teams provide for clients.

Notable client mandates in the period included Sony Interactive Entertainment on its acquisition of iSize, the administrators of Stewart Milne Group; and Highlands and Islands Enterprise on commercial litigation relating to the Cairngorm funicular railway.

Peter Lawson, chair, said: “We saw an uptick in activity during the second half of our 2022/23 financial year and we have carried that momentum into this shortened financial year, which has led to a very positive set of results.

“The fact that this is an eight-month reporting period rather than the usual 12 months means it is difficult to do acceptable year-on-year comparisons. However, our performance to date, combined with the pipeline of work and the timing of costs, give us confidence that both turnover and profit have grown strongly on last year.

“This reflects the hard work of our people and their dedication to our clients, and we are delighted to be able to reward their efforts with the all-employee bonus.”

Looking ahead, he said: “While challenges remain, it’s a much more stable economic picture than it was 12 to 18 months ago. The greater certainty provided by falling inflation and interest rates being held has led to growing investor confidence and increased levels of transactional activity, which plays to the firm’s strengths in corporate finance, real estate, banking and funds, energy and technology in particular.

“We continue to invest in line with our long-term growth strategy, to ensure that we are able to attract and retain the right skills and specialist expertise to meet the evolving requirements of our clients and provide a truly holistic service.

“We remain cautiously optimistic about the short to medium-term and stand ready to support our clients as they navigate the changing economic and business landscape and explore the opportunities available to them.”

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