Brodies breaks through £50m with 13 per cent turnover rise

Scottish firm Brodies has reported a fourth consecutive year of revenue and profit growth, with turnover up 13.2 per cent to £52.1m and profit up 23 per cent to £23.7m for the 2013/14 financial year.

The results follow a 7.5 per cent increase in turnover in 2012/13 (8 July 2013). Turnover has risen by 41.4 per cent since 2010/11, and Brodies said it had achieved a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent over the past decade – or 214 per cent in total, from £16.6m in 2003/04.

Brodies said a year of investment in new premises, technology and people had led to a 6.2 per cent increase in operating expenses to £28.4m for the 2013/14 year. The firm has no external borrowings and its cash balance was up by 57 per cent.

Lateral hires during the year included the appointment of Norton Rose Fulbright competition partner Rod Lambert (7 October 2013), DLA Piper corporate partner Neil Burgess (29 July 2013), and private client and charity law partners Norman Kennedy and Alan Eccles from Maclay Murray & Spens (7 April 2014)

The firm also signed agreements for new premises in Aberdeen and Glasgow and will take up 25,500 sq ft of space in 110 Queen Street in Glasgow in autumn 2015. Brodies increased total headcount last year from 534 to 564, a 5.6 per cent rise, with the number of fee-earners rising from 326 to 348.

The firm gained a net total of five partners, reporting a total of 80. As well as its lateral hires, the firm made up three partners at the start of the year (1 May 2013). However departures included pensions partner Martha Quinn, who joined rival Burness Paull as a consultant (8 November 2013).

Managing partner Bill Drummond said the year marked the completion of Brodies’ 2011/14 strategic plan. The next three-year strategy will continue a focus on clients and investment in client services.

Brodies is the third Scottish firm to announce increased turnover for the past year, following Shepherd and Wedderburn (10 June 2014) and Maclays (9 July 2014). The results are significantly better than 2012/13, when a number of Scottish firms, including Maclays and Shepherd and Wedderburn, announced declining revenues (14 October 2013).