Legal Business Blogs

Financials 2015/16: Maclays disappoints with double digit fall in PEP and low turnover growth

Maclay Murray & Spens, fresh from failed merger talks with Addleshaw Goddard, has had another disappointing year financially, with a 12% drop in profits per equity partner (PEP) from £283,000 to £248,000, while turnover is up 3% to £44.8m.

The 65-partner firm, which announced revenues of £43.5m for 2014/15, has faced its own challenges in recent years amid a difficult national legal market. Growth was stagnant for last year although PEP was up 10%.

Total remuneration to all classes of partner has also dropped, from £15.1m last year to £13.1m. It is understood that this year the figures significantly lag behind those of the other Scottish independents – Burness Paull, Brodies and Shepherd and Wedderburn.

In February it was revealed that merger talks between Addleshaws and Maclays to create a national practice with combined revenues of around £230m have been called off.

Addleshaws’ takeover of the Glasgow-based practice would have been the latest in a run of Scots takeovers, and was planned to go ahead in May this year. The firm has been clear that it wants to make £250m in fee income by the financial year 2017/18, which a takeover would have helped achieve.

Maclays is one of Scotland’s last remaining major independent firms, following Dundas & Wilson’s 2014 merger with CMS, McGrigors 2012 tie-up with Pinsent Masons and Clyde & Co’s takeover of Simpson Marwick last year. Maclays had previously entered talks with legacy firm Bond Pearce in 2011.

In September last year, Maclays took on five partners and around 30 staff from the now-defunct McClure Naismith in London and Glasgow. Corporate partners Morag Campbell and Robin Shannan joined in Glasgow alongside property specialist Wilson Aitken and consumer finance partner Frank Johnstone, while in London the firm recruited litigator Philip Sewell.