Brodies LLP reports that in its financial year to 30 April 2017 revenues grew by 2.4% to a record £66.7 million. Over the same period, profits before partner distributions rose by 2.6% to £31.7 million and the firm's cash balances increased by 14.4% to £18.2 million.
This was the seventh consecutive year of revenue and profit growth for Scotland's largest law firm, and was achieved through continued investment in services for its clients despite the political and economic uncertainty that followed last year's Brexit vote.
Brodies, which has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Brussels, currently comprises 94 partners, 311 other professional advisers (including 18 graduate recruits who joined the firm on 1 July to take up training contracts) and 217 support staff.
In assessing its progress against its business objectives, Brodies considers a range of financial and other relevant objective measures.
Highlights of the financial year in review have included:
- The successful completion of the third year of the firm's 2014/18 strategic plan, delivering sustained organic growth. Brodies continues to have no reliance on external debt.
- Three lateral partner hires and two internal partner promotions, strengthening Brodies' teams in corporate & commercial; insurance & risk; real estate and energy & infrastructure.
- Acting as lead legal adviser to Aberdeen City Council on its landmark £370 million index-linked bond issue on the London Stock Exchange; advising Scottish Water Business Stream on its successful acquisition of Southern Water's non-domestic business to allow it to expand its operations south of the Border; and acting as lead adviser to Abellio on its sale of 40% of the Greater Anglia rail franchise to global conglomerate Mitsui & Co. Ltd.
- Achieving 37 top tier practice area rankings and 69 'leading individual' lawyer rankings in the independent legal directories - more than any other firm in Scotland.
- Being named UK National / Regional Law Firm of the Year at the 2017 Legal Business Awards, UK Regional Law Firm of the Year at the 2016 Lawyer Awards and Scotland Law Firm of the Year at the 2017 Who's Who Legal Awards for the sixth time.
- Extending Brodies' PRIME programme, a pioneering initiative by the UK's leading law firms to widen access to the legal profession to young people from all backgrounds, which involves school pupils from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Seven students who have taken part in Brodies' PRIME programme have now secured places at university to study law.
- Providing continued support for the Scottish Schools Swimming Association, bringing healthy team sport to schools from Shetland to the Solway, and Maggie's Centres, which offers UK-wide support for people whose lives are affected by cancer. Brodies is the headline sponsor of Maggie's Culture Crawls in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
- Being ranked among the UK's top 50 employers in the first Social Mobility Employer Index.
Bill Drummond, Managing Partner of Brodies, said: "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."