Harper Macleod strives to reduce lock-up with billing overhaul

Scottish mid-sized firm Harper Macleod has introduced a shake-up of its billing process aimed at improving its working capital position.

The 39-partner firm has been gradually phasing in monthly contracts and billing since the beginning of 2007.

The move is aimed at reducing the firm’s lock-up, which stood at 162 days at the end of the last financial year. The firm is targeting a lock-up of 135 days under the new system.

Harper Macleod posted a turnover increase of more than 17 per cent last year, taking total revenue from £10.5m in 2005-06 to £12.2m.

Martin Darrouch, Harper Macleod’s chief executive, said the firm was targeting a turnover of £13.5m for 2007-08. He added that, with the help of the new billing system, it had already exceeded its monthly target in April and achieved it in May.

“That shows to me that in terms of the process we’re on target,” said Darrouch.

Harper Macleod reported an average profit per equity partner of £252,000 for the 2006-07 financial year, with the top and bottom of equity standing at £100,000 and £500,000 respectively.