Scotland’s Burness had a strong year in 2010-11, with turnover rising by 10 per cent to £23.4m and net profit up by 18 per cent to £9.3m. This was due to a combination of the firm winning greater market share from existing clients while also upping its profile in, and hence instructions from, the City. A 2010 rebranding, which was fully financed in 2010-11, helped in this department.
The firm has two management functions, a governance and strategy board and an operational board. The former, which deals with firmwide strategy, is made up of chairman Philip Rodney, managing partner Ian Wattie and elected partner Peter Lawson. The operations board, which is chaired by Wattie and deals with the day-to-day running of the firm, contains the heads of the firm’s four business departments and the heads of its four support functions.
The firm operates a modified lockstep that sees partners go from 50 to 100 points over seven years, although their positions can be accelerated, halted or reversed. There is also a profit pool equal to 5 per cent of total profit that can boost an individual partner’s profit share by up to 25 per cent. Neither Rodney nor Wattie are eligible for a bonus.
Partners contribute £1,000 per equity point to the firm, with the sums funded via personal bank loans. Non-equity partners do not have capital in the firm.