Turnover at the firm has risen by £6.5m, from £28.1m for Q3 2013/14 compared to £34.6m for Q3 2014/15. Of the 23% percentage increase, 11% came purely from the existing Shepherd and Wedderburn practices, while the balance was made up by the acquisition of 158-year old Tods Murray.
The firm managed to avoid making compulsory redundancies following a 45 day consultation period and a consolidation of the two firms under one roof in December. According to the firm’s chief executive Stephen Gibb (pictured), there was double digit growth in all the key sectors of the firm: energy and natural resources, financial services, real estate and infrastructure.
Speaking to Legal Business, Gibb said: ‘It has been quite a year, with the acquisition of the people and business of Tods Murray in early October coming alongside a really impressive performance across the pre-existing business, with all key sectors showing double digit growth. We have consolidated our market leading position in the Scottish market, remained debt free by keeping a tight rein on costs and added some significant high profile lateral hires that will bolster our international reach. I am really optimistic about our future performance and we will continue to look for opportunities to grow the business.’
The firm, which boasts clients including Sainsburys, ScottishPower and Clydesdale Bank, has been working on its three pronged strategy since 2012. This plan for the firm includes growing its international reach, becoming a market leader in Scotland and competing with the top 30 firms in the UK in terms of deals and the quality of work.
The takeover by Shepherd brought to an end a period of steady decline for Tods Murray, historically one of Scotland’s most respected firms. In 2005/6 the firm posted revenues of £23.4m and the firm featured in the LB100. However exposure to volatile property and finance markets took its toll post-Lehman, with revenues falling by 37% to £14.8m in 2009/10. The firm fell out of the LB100 in 2008, and its last published accounts showed a fee income of just £12.6m in 2012/13.