Shepherd and Wedderburn 'hits strategic targets' to post 5% revenue increase
Scottish independent rewards staff with ‘exceptional’ 5% salary bonus as income grows to £62m
Shepherd and Wedderburn has reported 5% growth in fee income in the year to 30 April against a moderate 3% rise in net profit.
The increases have seen revenue at the Edinburgh-based firm, which does not disclose profit per equity partner, hit £62.2m as profit reached £26m.
The results mark a small improvement in terms of revenue gain on the previous financial year, when fee income grew 4.1%, but a step down in terms of profit growth, which jumped up 13% in 2021/21 to £25.3m.
Nevertheless managing partner, Andrew Blain, was upbeat about what he dubbed a ‘strong’ set of results.
“Last year was the first year of our revised three-year strategy and I am delighted with the progress we have made. We have achieved the targets we set ourselves for the first 12 months and made a number of strategic investments in people and premises. We go into 2022/2023 with a strong and growing platform to support clients and deliver on our 2024 strategy,” he said.
The strategy focuses on driving growth in core areas including real estate, infrastructure, corporate finance and technology and clean energy. The firm said client activity in the tech and clean energy sectors had been particularly strong over the last year and that current clean energy mandates included work in relation to English Round 4, ScotWind, INTOG and Celtic Sea.
Notable activity for the year saw the firm reappointed to the legal panels of longstanding clients British Land and Taylor Wimpey, gain new legal panel appointments to Balfour Beatty, Electricity Supply Board and Scottish Water, while the banking team advised on 150 transactions with a total value of £101bn.
The firm has also invested in its office footprint, relocating to a new office in Aberdeen with capacity to double its headcount in the region and agreeing plans to move its Edinburgh headquarters to M&G’s Haymarket Edinburgh development, which the firm said would provide a flexible working environment for its staff and allow for continued growth.
Like last year, Shepherd and Wedderburn said it would reward its staff with an ‘exceptional’ bonus of 5% of annual salary on top of its performance-related bonus scheme in recognition of their commitment to clients and the firm.
The firm made up five lawyers to partner, four of whom were women, in its promotions round earlier this year across its disputes, infrastructure and media and technology teams. It also recruited 40 lawyers over the course of the last financial year and a record number of trainees to support future growth.
Among the new arrivals was real estate partner Ian Bowie, who joined in February from rival Scottish firm MacRoberts. The firm said that a number of new partner hires would be announced in the coming weeks.
It has also been busy building its ESG offering, launching a dedicated practice led by pensions partner Louisa Knox and regulations and markets partner Gordon Downie to assist clients with their sustainability, workforce and regulatory commitments.