McGrigors’ London base sees turnover boosted by one-third

Mcgrigors has seen a massive upsurge in London work, with City turnover growing by 30 per cent in the past year as firmwide turnover rises by 5 per cent to £42.4m.

McGrigors’ financial year ends on 30 September. Of its total turnover, around £18.2m came from London and £24.2m from outside the capital. London now has 34 per cent of the firm’s lawyers (84 partners and assistants) and produces 42.4 per cent of turnover.

However, the London office’s performance, which saw a rise in billings of £2m, was not matched by some of the firm’s other outposts. McGrigors’ Scottish and Belfast offices together posted an 8 per cent drop – equivalent to some £2m.

McGrigors sources said the second half of the year showed growth against the equivalent period in 2003. The firm billed a £21.5m turnover for the second half of 2003-04 against £19.1m the previous year.

The results are the first hard evidence of London being the epicentre of Scottish firms’ growth, albeit at the expense of work north of the border. The growth has also come in the year Mcgrigors ended its formal ties with KPMG.

“London’s a bigger market than it was a few years ago and there are far more opportunities,” Colin Gray, managing partner at McGrigors, told The Lawyer.

He linked the London growth with continued instructions from KPMG and an upturn in referral work from Continental firms, citing French firm Fidal, which also used to be tied to KPMG, as a main source of this work.

Tax litigation, people services and banking have also seen particular growth, Gray added, while real estate, which produces £3m in London as part of a firmwide turnover of £11m, “remains core” to its business.

McGrigors also has a burgeoning relationship with Royal Bank of Scotland, which it acted for recently on the regeneration of Salford town centre. It has also developed relationships in the past year with HBOS, AWG Morrison, O2, Forth Ports, Royal Mail and Ufi.