Shepherd & Wedderburn LLPs confirm robust 2014/15

Shepherd & Wedderburn’s 2015 LLP accounts have confirmed that the previous full financial year was a particular strong period for the Scottish firm.

Total turnover rose by 25.5 per cent from £38.3m to £48m while profit before members’ remuneration and profit shares rose by 28.3 per cent from £14m to £17.9m.

Current assets rose from £20m to £28.6m, with debtors up from £18m to £23.7m and cash at bank more than doubling from £2m to £4.9m. Total members’ interests also rose, from £15.4m to £20.2m.

The total number of members increased from 60 to 73 while total staff numbers rose from 357 to 430. Similarly total staff costs rose from £13.5m to £16.8m.

The profit allocation to the member with the largest entitlement was £455,000 last year compared with £404,000 in 2013/14.

Shepherd & Wedderburn’s solid financial result contrast sharply with the fortunes of several other Scottish firms in recent years. The accounts reveal detail about its acquisition of the assets of rival Scottish firm Tods Murray, which went into administration in 2014.

On 3 October Shepherd & Wedderburn acquired the work-in-progress and paid outlays, less than six months old, formerly belonging to Tods Murray for around £1.5m.

In addition £8,000 was paid for fixed assets from Tods Murray’s Glasgow and Edinburgh offices. No liabilities were transferred to Shepherd & Wedderburn.

Eighteen partners joined Shepherd & Wedderburn as members while the majority of Tods Murray’s employees also joined the firm, although a number of these later took voluntary redundancy.

Other large Scottish rivals, notably McGrigors and Dundas & Wilson, have merged into larger international firms in recent years, respectively Pinsent Masons and CMS, while when Glasgow-headquartered McClure Naismith called in the administrators at the end of August it was the third Scottish firm in as many years to do so, following Semple Fraser and Tods Murray.