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Financials 2015/16: Scottish independent Brodies continues strong form with double-digit revenue and PEP growth

One of the big four remaining independent law firms in Scotland, Brodies has continued its strong form announcing revenue growth of 12% from £57.9m to £65.1m, while profits per equity partner (PEP) is up 13% from £532,000 to £602,000.

In addition, profit before partner distributions rose by 14.2% to £30.9m and cash balances rose 7.3% to £15.9m as the largest law firm in Scotland continues to grow its ranks.

Speaking to Legal Business, Brodies managing partner Bill Drummond said the result was consistent with the sort of financial performance that the firm had sustained over a lengthy period of time, however he added that numbers were affected negatively by macroeconomic conditions, particularly in the last quarter.

‘As managing partner I am always keen to see the business perform to its full potential and if market conditions had been a bit buoyant in the fourth quarter of our financial year when some of the market concerns were starting to kick in we would have done better than that the way things were going.’

In a statement Drummond (pictured) added: ‘It is clear that we have entered a period of uncertainty, however we stand ready to support organisations and individuals, whether in Scotland, the rest of the UK or overseas, in facing the challenges that the Brexit vote will present as well as the opportunities that will undoubtedly emerge.’

During the last financial year the total number of lawyers and staff at Brodies grew by 4.6% from 603 to 631, while the number of partners rose from 82 to 91.

Last November the firm took its private equity offering up a notch by hiring Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Karen Fountain as part of a double hire into its corporate group. Alongside Fountain, Brodies recruited CMS Cameron McKenna partner Douglas Crawford.

In February, Brodies re-elected Drummond as well as its chair Christine O’Neill to another term in each role.

Drummond was first elected in 1998 and has served the firm for 35 years. As the firm’s head, he takes on strategic development, hands-on management and the job of bringing greater transparency to professional development across the firm.

The only other major Scottish firm to release financials so far this year has been rival independent Maclay Murray & Spens which had another disappointing year financially, with a 12% drop in PEP from £283,000 to £248,000, while turnover is up 3% to £44.8m.