Brodies sees turnover drop while PEP dips to £323,000

Scottish firm Brodies has posted marginal drops in turnover and average profit per equity partner (PEP) for the 2009-10 year while maintaining its profit margin at around 25 per cent.

Bill Drummond
Bill Drummond

The Edinburgh-headquartered firm has recorded turnover of £35.8m for the financial year, a drop of 8 per cent on the £39.09 it made in 2008-09.

PEP fell 3 per cent from £333,000 to £323,000, while the firm’s profit margin fell three percentage points from 28 per cent to 25 per cent.

Managing partner Bill Drummond said the recession had been tough for the firm, but that it had managed to maintain its profit margin by taking a tough stance on costs.

“We’ve been very careful on all aspects of costs,” he said, adding that the bulk of the cost savings had been achieved through all business support services looking at ways of cutting their spend rather than through job losses or part-time working.

In total the firm made 10 redundancies across the past two financial years and has not put any member of staff onto reduced hours.

“We didn’t want to undermine the quality of the business,” said Drummond. “We very much put the people side first.”

In terms of practice areas, the firm’s litigation practice remains the biggest revenue generator, accounting for 34 per cent of the total in the past financial year. Property is the second largest group in revenue terms, although at 26 per cent of the total it is proportionally marginally smaller than in the previous year.

While the firm made only one lateral hire in the 2009-10 financial year – corporate partner Will McIntosh, who joined from Lindsays – it has stepped up its recruitment drive in the current year.

The firm has boosted its corporate practice with the hire of Biggart Baillie partners David Allan and Catherine Feechan while Elena Fry has joined the litigation practice as a partner, also from Biggart Baillie. Allan was head of corporate at Biggart Baillie while Fry was head of insurance.