Brodies’ cash reserves swell by 700 per cent

Scottish firm Brodies has reported a 700 per cent increase in its cash reserves, according to its annual report published last week.

The review by the Edin-burgh-based firm shows available cash rose from £53,000 in 2003 to £357,000 last year.

Also in 2004, when it posted a record turnover of £16.6m, Brodies managed to reduce the size of its loans by almost £1m to £2.2m.

Commenting on this success, Ian Beattie, the financial director at Brodies, said: “It’s down to the fact that we generated additional cash of £304,000. The drop in our debts and loans was because we’d paid larger amounts to members than the year before.”

The detailed financial figures have been released ahead of the firm’s 2006 deadline for reporting due to its status as a limited-liability partnership (LLP). Brodies became an LLP in May and was the largest Scottish firm to do so at the time. Since then Dundas & Wilson also joined the growing ranks of Scottish law firm LLPs.

Brodies’ internal review coincides with its announcement of a new three-year strategy in which the firm plans to increase the size of its property department by 50 per cent.

Brodies has also ruled out opening other offices in the UK, bucking a trend for many of the larger Scottish firms. Instead, Bill Drummond, Brodies managing partner, said the firm’s priority is to “add the best legal talent precisely where it’s needed and, whenever possible, ahead of the market”.

Last year the firm entered an intense hiring spree that saw the recruitment of Tite & Lewis’s former head of private equity Iain Young. It also bolstered the size of its IP and corporate finance teams.

Brodies has also recently won six public sector contracts, including acting for the South Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire councils on Scotland’s largest ever tendered waste disposal contract.