Turnover at legal firm Ledingham Chalmers was just over £11.5million, compared with around £12.3million the year before; with profits down marginally from £3.8million to £3.4million.
The firm, with offices in Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling and Edinburgh, said the figures for the 2016-17 financial year showed a performance broadly similar to the previous reporting period, albeit projections were lower given ongoing economic and political uncertainty, including the oil price downturn.
Chairman and partner Jennifer Young said: “Like many of our competitors, we’re not immune to the difficulties faced in the regions and sectors in which we operate.
“That said, importantly, we delivered ahead of budget, albeit one that was more conservative than we’ve seen in recent years.
“We’ve continued to focus on laying the foundations for sustainable growth and have concentrated on providing what we know is a valuable service to clients, with the SME sector an area of particular focus with high potential for our firm.”
Brian Hay, the firm’s chief executive officer, said: “Many parts of the business have seen broadly similar levels of activity compared with last year.
“Notable areas of delivery for the firm have been in commercial property and private client services, with robust performances returned in all areas in which we operate – from corporate and business services and dispute work through to rural law.”
Meanwhile, Mrs Young says the firm continues to attract significant external recognition including in the prestigious Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 directories.
Across both, 31 individual lawyers are recognised — an increase of 10 on the previous year — while 12 practice areas are ranked.
“With the listings in these directories being based on feedback by clients and peers in the legal sector, it is gratifying to see so many colleagues being singled out for their pragmatic and accessible legal support coupled with high standards of delivery for clients,” Mrs Young adds.
With 29 partners and 140 staff, notable staff changes throughout the year included Victoria Leslie’s promotion to partner; Allan Collie’s retiral as a partner — he continues with the firm as rural business advisor; and senior associate Catherine Bury’s recognition from the Law Society of Scotland as an agricultural law specialist.
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 challenging, but there continues to be opportunities for firms like us with the vision and appetite to adapt, to respond to trends, and to align themselves effectively with client needs.”