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Corporate boutique Dickson Minto has recorded disappointing figures for last year, after two previous years of record growth.
The 15-partner firm, which has offices in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, saw turnover increase by just 5 per cent for the year ending April 2001, after increases of more than 25 per cent for 1999 and 2000. Turnover last year hit £18.5m, up from £17.6m the previous year. Profits rose by 3 per cent, taking average profits per partner to around £635,000. A number of the firm's top partners now take home £1m a year. Senior partner Alastair Dickson said: "I said the year before that I expected last year to be slightly down. Our years to April 1999 and April 2000 were just fantastic and I expected that to drop. Our year to April 2000 was something we didn't expect to repeat. Last year, we're happy that we did as well as we did, and we'll be happy to do as well this year." The firm's biggest deal last year was acting for private equity house BC Partners on its £1.3bn acquisition of General Healthcare Group from Cinven. That deal was done by Dickson Minto partners Martin McNair and Michael Barron. However, the bulk of the work was middle-range deals. Dickson said: "There were no very large multinational deals that generate huge income, but a large number of deals in the £200m-£400m size. A lot of the really big ones didn't happen - last year was what we'd call mid-sized deals. This year looks as though it's got some bigger deals." The firm has half of its lawyers based in London now, though most of the partners are still located in Scotland but make regular trips to London. Dickson is based in the City office. Dickson said the firm is very busy. "I expected this year to start slowly," he said. "May confirmed my expectations of a quiet summer, but June has just turned it around. There are a lot of investment bankers out there trying to make work, so we do get hit by a lot of deals that don't happen."