Firms’ LLP accounts have generally made for depressing reading this year so perhaps it’s only natural that a firm would want to present a positive take on its results.
But Scottish stalwart Tods Murray may have stretched positivity to the bounds of credibility with its latest efforts. The firm led an announcement on its 2011/12 LLP results with the news that its private client team’s turnover had grown by 28 per cent since the beginning of the 2012/13 financial year, while its banking team had increased revenue by 55 per cent over the same period.
Further down, though, was the news that profitability had fallen by more than a quarter – 25.8 per cent from £3.1m to £2.3m – between 2010/11 and 2011/12, while turnover had dropped by almost 10 per cent – from £13.1m to £11.8m. Debt levels appear to have gone up as well.
If you take a longer view, back to 2007/08, the drop is even more dramatic. Back then, Tods Murray’s turnover was as high as £20.9m.
In a statement, executive partner David Dunsire said: “It would appear that 2011 was a false dawn and our 2012 results have mirrored the rest of the Scottish corporate scene,” and later added that Scotland is “traditionally slower to recover from recession”.
That could be an understatement. After all there’s a reason that independent law firms are becoming a rarer sight in Scotland than a natural suntan. And there’s no way to gloss over that.
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