Morton Fraser had a tough year, with turnover dropping by 4 per cent to £14.7m. This was the second successive 4 per cent drop for the Scottish firm, which has suffered from a stagnant commercial property market.
Profitability fell by 23 per cent, with Morton Fraser’s average profit per equity partner standing at £104,000 and the equity ranging between £87,000 and £129,000. However, average earnings per partner were slightly up at £110,000.
Last year saw some equity partners move down the lockstep in a bid to address the difficult market environment. Morton Fraser also shed some support staff at the start of the current financial year to cut costs. Overall fee-earner and lawyer numbers dropped last year, although CEO Duncan Murray says this was through natural attrition rather than via a redundancy programme.
The firm is still heavily litigation-focused, with 45 per cent of turnover derived from this practice area and another 21 per cent from property.