Legal Business Blogs

Tods acquisition helps boost revenue 26% to £48m at Shepherd and Wedderburn

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s chief executive Stephen Gibb (pictured) has hailed 2014/15 a ‘cracking year’ as the firm posted a revenue increase of 26%, from £38m last financial year to £48m in the year to 30 April.

The £10m turnover increase includes seven months of trading following the acquisition of Tods Murray in October last year but, even without the acquisition, Gibb told Legal Business that organic growth would have been ‘close to 11%’ and would have pushed the firm’s revenue figures over the £40m mark. As it stands, the figure inclusive of Tods’ contribution puts the firm on a good footing to have annualised revenues of over £50m next year.

The Scottish firm also said profits per equity partner had made a significant increase, jumping 21%, from £278,000 to £335,000 as profits picked up to £18m.

Gibb said: ‘We had a cracking year actually because we had really good organic growth as well as the benefit of the revenues from the new people that have come in. The interesting thing is that when we talked about being stuck between £35m – £38m our revenue, just with the organic growth, would have been well over £40m. So that shows you that we had actually broken through that barrier organically.’

Revenue increases across all sectors was strong, with the firm’s largest sector energy and natural resources up 18%, real estate and infrastructure up 26% and financial services up around 21%. The corporate team generated an extra 24% in revenues, working on £5.2bn worth of deals in the last financial year, including the sale of Wolfson Microelectronics to US rival Cirrus logic.

Gibb added: ‘The delivery of the Tods deal was extremely strong, I am very proud of the management team in this business and that is excluding me because for example we migrated 3,5000 clients, 6,800 matters and 2.1m documents in ten weeks. We had the IT up and running, we had the people in our building by Christmas and that was quite a feat. Plus the attitude of the people who’ve joined us has been fantastic – they’ve really got stuck in and they’ve really integrated very well.’

Shepherd and Wedderburn acquired out of administration the business and assets of 158-year old Tods Murray following the latter’s falling revenues and exposure to volatile property and finance markets. It managed to migrate the offices over without making compulsory redundancies in December.

For more on the current state of play in the Scottish market see: When the hurlyburly’s done – nationalism, devolution and another turbulent period for Scots law firms