Maclays posts positive turnover results to £43.3m after seven-year slide

Scottish-headquartered firm Maclay Murray & Spens saw turnover hit £43.3m in the 2013/14 financial year, a rise of 7 per cent on the previous year.

This represents something of a turnaround for the firm, which suffered a 13 per cent drop in turnover in 2012/13 from £46.9m to £40.9m. That said, turnover at the firm is now 29 per cent lower than its 2007-08 high of £61.1m.

Average profit per equity partner (PEP) also suffered in 2012/13, falling by almost 22 per cent from £270,000 to £211,000, but bounced back to £261,000 in the most recent year. In 2007-08 PEP at the firm was £325,000.

According to chief executive Kenneth Shand, who took over from Chris Smylie in June (31 January 2014), the firm is in “excellent shape, both at a strategic and operational level”.

Despite this, he admitted that the legal sector was going through “a period of considerable economic uncertainty [… and …] structural change”, adding that the firm has “by no means been immune to these challenges”.

During the 2013/14 financial year Maclays laid off a total of 28 legal and support staff, with its corporate and property practices bearing the brunt of the losses (9 September 2013). The cuts came just over a year after six members of the firm’s Glasgow private client team were made redundant (20 June 2012).

At the end of the 2011/12 financial year Maclays called off merger talks with Bond Pearce that would at the time have created a £95m-turnover firm (14 March 2012). Bond Pearce went on to merge with Dickinson Dees to form Bond Dickinson (7 December 2012), taking four oil and gas partners out of Maclays’ Aberdeen office before it did so (17 December 2012).