Scotland’s Harper Macleod posts 14 per cent turnover rise

Scottish firm Harper Macleod has announced an unaudited turnover rise of 14 per cent for the 2011-12 financial year, becoming one of the first UK firms to post its figures for the year.

Martin Darroch
Martin Darroch

The Glasgow-headquartered firm billed £19.1m in legal fees during the year, up on a like-for-like figure of £16.7m in 2010-11. Last year’s reported figure of £17.1m was slightly higher than the final adjusted figure.

Chief executive Martin Darroch said that just under 30 per cent of this year’s revenue came from the firm’s public and third sector group, with a further 28 per cent generated in the insurance group.

Energy and natural resources contributed 8 per cent of fees, construction and property 7 per cent, banks and financial institutions 5 per cent and sport slightly less than this.

Although the firm is primarily structured around sectors rather than practice areas, Darroch said the commercial property practice group contributed 13 per cent and corporate 10 per cent.

Darroch has overseen a 145 per cent increase in turnover since taking over at the helm of the firm in 2006, when turnover stood at £7.8m. It is now the sixth largest Scottish firm by headcount.

He told The Lawyer: “We don’t regard this as an upturn, we regard this as a business success. There’s no upturn in the Scottish market.”

He said the firm’s sector approach enabled it to remain “nimble” and client focused. Recent client work highlights include its appointment as adviser to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Scottish sports agency sportscotland.

Earlier this week Yorkshire firm Gordons was the first UK firm to announce its 2011-12 financial results, which showed that turnover was up 8.6 per cent (1 May 2012).