Harper McLeod’s PEP tumbles in spite of improved turnover

Scottish firm Harper McLeod has seen its average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure drop by 10 per cent over the past financial year, despite posting a ­marginal rise in turnover.

For the 2008-09 financial year the firm’s turnover was £14.5m, falling to £14.1m when adjusted for work in progress (WIP). In 2007-08 turnover stood at £14.2m pre-WIP and £13.7m after the adjustment was made. Over the same period the firm’s 19 equity partners saw PEP drop from £250,000 to £235,000.

Chief executive Martin Darroch said the firm had held on to all its staff over the past year by moving ­people between departments, which also allowed it to shift its business focus.

“Excluding partners, we’ve moved 20 per cent of fee-earners out of real estate, corporate and private client into growing areas such as debt recovery,” he said. “Commercial property, ­corporate and private client combined saw a reduction of £1.4m, but insurance, insurance litigation and debt recovery grew by £1.7m. Those figures ­netted created our growth.”