19:10, July 27 67 0

2017-07-27 19:10:08
Brodies’ turnover hits record £66.7m as growth slows

Brodies has posted a 2.4 per cent increase in turnover for the 2016/17 financial year to £66.7m in its seventh consecutive year of revenue and profit growth.

Profits before partner distributions rose by 2.6 per cent to £31.7m while the firm’s cash balances also increased, by 14.4 per cent to £18.2m.

The rate of top line expansion slowed significant last year. In 2015/16 turnover increased by 12.4 per cent to £65.1m while the previous year the firm saw turnover grow by 11.2 per cent to £57.9m.

Brodies managing partner Bill Drummond conceded that it had been “a very busy and at times quite dramatic” year for the firm and its clients. He said that against the backdrop of Brexit, the increase in income was a satisfactory outcome and 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,” added Drummond. “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.”

Highlights of the firm’s year include acting as lead legal adviser to Aberdeen City Council on its £370m bond issue on the London Stock Exchange; advising Scottish Water Business Stream on its acquisition of Southern Water’s non-domestic business; and acting as lead adviser to Abellio on its sale of 40 per cent of the Greater Anglia rail franchise to Mitsui & Co.

Drummond, who described Brodies as “the biggest firm that’s ever been in Scotland”, added that he saw “no ceiling” on the size of the firm currently.

“I think that any assumptions of the market only being able to sustain businesses of a certain size are simply wrong,” added Drummond. “We don’t see any constraint on our growth.”

Drummond said that over the next few years he expected to see growth opportunities in energy, “which will come back”, infrastructure projects “if policy makers are good to their word”, and inward investment “partly driven by sterling pricing and also by the UK being an open economy”.

Drummond added that Brodies would also continue to invest in a range of its practices, highlighting private client in particular.

The results coincide with a period of continued consolidation in the Scottish market, most recently highlighted by the merger of Maclay Murray & Spens and Dentons.