Turnover falls to £48.7m at Dundas & Wilson, PEP down to £164k

Dundas & Wilson has reported a 10.6 per cent fall in turnover from £54.5m to £48.7m at the end of the 2012/13 financial year.

Over the same period pre-tax profit dropped 21 per cent from £16.2m to £12.8m, and PEP fell 22 per cent to £164,000 from the previous year’s £210,000.

Joint-managing partners Caryn Penley and Allan Wernham said the financial performance had been affected by tough decisions that they’ve had to make since their appointment in August 2012.

They insisted that a new strategy to expand and diversify the client base while also developing the business processes had so far produced positive results. 

“The early indications from adopting this new approach are very positive,” a joint statement said. ”Activity levels rose during the financial year, with the firm diversifying its client base and completing a number of major deals, including the sale of national house builder CALA, advising Land Securities on Trinity Leeds – the largest shopping centre to open in Western Europe this year –  as well as the $1bn refinancing of the Wood Group.

The firm added that a newly established paralegal team has helped to reduce costs by completing the equivalent of 1400 days of lawyers’ time since it was set-up during the last financial year.

The Aberdeen office, which was opened 12 months ago to exploit the corporate and banking markets in the north east, has seen significant growth, completing 18 transactions and mandates in its first year, it continued. (2 February 2012).

Chairman Laurence Ward, who was also appointed in August, said the firm invested in the appointment of 10 partners in May and that it has “quietly but decisively changed shape and direction”. All partners promoted in the bumper 2013 round were in Scotland, with two in Aberdeen and Edinburgh and Glasgow gaining four each (1 May 2013).

Speculation that the firm is pushing to secure a London merger following a string of exits in the City and failed talks with Bircham Dyson Bell in 2011 persisted earlier this year when co-managing partner Allan Wernham said that London growth would be partly through lateral hires, adding: “But we will also be looking at bolt-ons to deliver that strategy (13 May 2013).

Last month Dundas & Wilson announced the cancellation of its London vacation scheme just weeks before it was due to start to save approximately £12,000 (6 June 2013).

For more on the firm read our feature: Dundas & Wilson: Lawyers in Need