Legal Business Blogs

Scottish round up: Brodies and Morton Fraser achieve record breaking revenues, Freeths expands into Scotland

Brodies has become the first independent Scottish firm to pass the £100m revenue mark.

The LB100 firm posted a turnover of £106.25m, marking an 8% growth compared to last year’s figure of £98.5m.

This is the firm’s thirteenth consecutive year of growth, while operating profit also increased by 6% from £46.1m to £48.6m

Managing partner Nick Scott (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘This year’s figures are the result of all our practices making progress, but the fastest growing practice area here was our personal and family practice.’

He added that reaching this milestone came at a time of a ‘constantly changing backdrop’ citing events such as the war in Ukraine, high inflation, and uncertain financial markets.

‘But it’s our job, of course as a firm to set ourselves a plan of making sure we’re making progress, whatever the backdrop,’ he continued.

The firm’s headcount has also grown by 3% from 771 to 794 and all eligible colleagues received a bonus of 6% in June, adding to bonuses paid throughout last year.

Earlier this year the firm launched its first Middle East office in Abu Dhabi, which coincides with further plans to upgrade its Scottish offices later this year.

Speaking about the Scottish legal market more broadly, Scott continued: ‘We are anticipating that transactional markets will pick up as the year goes through. We’re anticipating there being more activity on that side of the business, but disputes services generally are also in strong demand.’

Later this year the firm will reveal its strategic plans for 2024 to 2027.

Elsewhere in Scotland, Morton Fraser has also reported its highest-ever annual revenue of £25.7m.

The firm said this is an increase of 8% year on year and an increase of 25% over the last two years.

Chief executive Chris Harte told Legal Business: ‘We’ve had a growth rate across the business which has been consistent, with particular spikes in corporate, employment and private client practice areas. It’s encouraging that we’re having broad growth, which is not overly dependent on one area.

‘We compete with a range of firms, including large international firms and local firms, and our focus is making sure we are focusing on those service lines. This has helped drive our success.’

All staff will receive a bonus of 6%, which is not limited to just fee earners.

Finally, national UK firm Freeths has announced the opening of a new office in Glasgow, marking the firm’s first expansion outside of England.

Addleshaw Goddard real estate partners Paul Ockrim and Nick Taylor have joined Freeths as part of the expansion, which will be the firm’s 13th office in the UK.

Freeths has also revealed a 15% growth rate in revenue, taking its turnover to £129m, up 220% from £40.2m in 2014.

National managing partner Karl Jansen told Legal Business: ‘The move into Scotland came at the right point and right opportunity. We are seeing increasing demand from our clients for Scottish work, allied with more energy work up in Scotland which is a key area of growth.

‘We are starting out in Glasgow with a real estate practice, but we plan on expanding into other areas such as construction and planning, and obvious areas like corporate, litigation and employment. We fully plan to build a full service offering in the country.’