Profits and turnover up at Scottish law firm

Chairman and partner Jennifer Young

FULL-SERVICE law firm Ledingham Chalmers has increased its turnover and profit for the last financial year.

Turnover for year ending March 2019 was just over £11.6million, compared with around £10.6million the year before; and profits were up from £3.2million to £3.47million.

Ledingham Chalmers, which has offices in Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling and Edinburgh, said the figures reflected strong performances from teams including private client, litigation, corporate and commercial property.

Group turnover, including subsidiary Golden Square Wealth Management (GSWM), was also up: £12.1million compared with £11.6million. Profits were slightly down — £3.5million compared with £3.6million. The firm says this reflects investment in the growing GSWM team over the period to support future, sustainable growth.

Brian Hay, the firm’s chief executive officer, said: “We exceeded our budget, which is great news, and, as we’ve said before, our focus is very much on the long haul: ensuring we continue to have the right people in place to carry on delivering what we know is a valuable service for clients, with the SME sector a particular area of focus.

“Looking ahead, we’ve revised the 2019/2020 budget, mainly to reflect changes following the Simpson & Marwick Aberdeen deal, which saw the team join Ledingham Chalmers in November. And, with a quarter to go, we’re on track to deliver that 5% increase on last year’s revenue for the law firm.”

Chairman and partner Jennifer Young said: “As well as the considerable legal expertise you’d expect, we have a reputation for being approachable, responsive and good to deal with, and the benefit of that approach comes through in these figures, as well as in the external recognition our firm receives. We’re consistently recognised in the Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 directories based on feedback from clients and peers.”

Across both directories, 24 individual lawyers are recognised across 10 practice areas: corporate, banking and financial, insolvency and corporate recovery, agriculture, employment, environment, personal injury, energy, commercial property and construction.

With 184 staff, including 33 partners, senior staff changes throughout the year included Linda Tinson and Phyllis Garden’s promotion to partner; while John Lee — one of only three solicitor advocates in the country to be accredited by the Law Society of Scotland in both employment and discrimination law — joined the Edinburgh office.

Mrs Young said: “We continue to be firmly established within the leading pack of firms of a similar size — and bigger — and are consistently commended for the quality of our people, as well as our sound, pragmatic guidance.

“Yes, the marketplace is constantly shifting, but for firms like us, with the appetite to adapt and respond to trends, and to align effectively with client needs, there are always opportunities.”

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