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Harper Macleod increases share of Scottish legal market as turnover soars past £25 million mark

Harper Macleod has significantly increased its share of the Scottish legal market after announcing record performance for the most recent financial year. The firm’s turnover soared by 17% to reach £25.7 million.

Harper Macleod Annual Results Lorne Crerar Martin Darroch

The business, the second largest professional services partnership in Scotland with 72 Partners, was recently named Scotland’s Law Firm of the Year – the 8th time it has received that title in the past decade. The firm has enjoyed a stellar year with significant growth across the country, including a greatly increased presence in Edinburgh and a venture into Shetland.

Harper Macleod was also recently ranked as one of the Top 3 Dealmakers in Scotland during 2015.

Chairman Professor Lorne Crerar said: “This has been, beyond doubt, the most impressive year to date for Harper Macleod and a very important indicator for us is that our growth has been across the full spectrum of the sectors of the Scottish economy, broadly categorised as private, public or third sector.

“Exceeding clients’ expectations in our delivery of outstanding legal services assessed upon criteria of expertise, delivery methodology, relationship focus and price is a message our clients tell us they appreciate and is a key factor for existing and new clients using Harper Macleod.

“It is particularly satisfying that ‘corporate Scotland’ is increasingly acknowledging that because our pricing is lower than our mainstream competitors it does not mean our service delivery and expertise is in anyway compromised - quite the contrary. Our mantra of best value relationships with our clients will, we believe, continue to drive client loyalty and attract new clients to the firm as they seek outstanding relationships in their supply chain on competitive pricing models, including their professional advisers."

Harper Macleod continues to play a leading role in Scotland’s startup and high-growth ecosystem, partnering with key organisations including Entrepreneurial Spark and the Scottish EDGE fund.

Sport also remains an important part of the firm’s identity, last year seeing it join forces with GUINESS PRO12 Champions Glasgow Warriors to launch the Harper Macleod Club Deck at Scotstoun Stadium, while the firm is also Official Sponsors of Scottish Swimming.

Meanwhile HM Connect, the country’s leading legal support and referral network which counts more than 290 independent high street and rural firms among its members, continues to grow and collectively represents a major client of the firm. HM Connect recently won Support Team of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards.

Chief Executive Martin Darroch, who took up his post a decade ago when the firm’s turnover was £10m, said: “Clients of law firms are no different from those in every other industry – they are demanding high quality services that are delivered in the most efficient and value-added way. This has been a source of opportunity for Harper Macleod, as the firm has always been geared up to deliver the services that our clients want, as they want them. It’s also no coincidence that we have won many highly competitive public sector appointments during the past 12 months.

“Our performance has also enabled us to attract talented people to the firm and maintain our strategy of organic growth with a sole focus on the Scottish market. That’s a market which isn’t growing as a whole, so the only way to thrive is to increase market share and that’s exactly what we’ve done.

“We have made significant investments in the past year and with a strong balance sheet are well placed to make moves where we see a real benefit. However, we expect this to be a year where we consolidate the significant additions we have made to the maximum benefit of our clients and our people.”

Harper Macleod’s highlights of the year include:

New, greatly expanded Edinburgh Office at Citypoint Haymarket – now home to 20 Partners

  • Acquired leading Shetland firm Dowle, Smith & Rutherford
  • Team of 10, including five Partners, joined from former McClure Naismith
  • Won place on all six lots of the new Scottish Government Legal Services Framework
  • Partner of leading business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark and the Scottish EDGE fund
  • Proud Supporters of Glasgow Warriors rugby club
  • Winner of CSR Firm of the Year at the Scottish Business Awards
  • ISO 27001 Certification for Information Security
  • Signed the Scottish Business Pledge and became a Living Wage Employer