A major Scottish legal firm with a base in Perth has seen turnover grow by 8% after expanding two of its teams.
The result marks eight consecutive years of growth.
Turnover at Gillespie Macandrew LLP rose from £13 million in 2019, to £14m for the year ending February 29, 2020.
Pre-tax profit fell from £3.7m to £3.5m over the reporting period.
In addition to firm’s Perth’s Broxburn House base, Gillespie Macandrew has two further offices in Edinburgh, with one in Morningside and a recently expanded Glasgow premises.
Commenting in Gillespie Macandrew’s annual report, designated member, John McArthur said: “Growth was achieved on both the commercial and private client sides of the business, supported in part by recent expansion in the housebuilding team and the arrival mid-year of the private client team from Clyde & Co.
“In spite of this modest expansion in headcount, the firm’s overall operating performance continued to match the productivity gains achieved the previous year.
“Operating costs rose principally through investment in additional staff.”
“Overall, the business performed well notwithstanding a backdrop of considerable political turmoil and economic uncertainty in the UK, deriving principally from the UK Government’s negotiations in relation to Brexit.”
However, Mr McArthur said the more significant challenge for the firm is the impact of Covid-19 on the world’s economies, but the business adapted quickly to homeworking during lockdown and is proving resilient.
Over the reporting period, the average monthly headcount at Gillespie Macandrew rose from 126 in 2019, to 136 last year, with 96 employed in client service roles and 40 in support staff positions, bringing a bill for wages and associated costs to £6.1m – an increase of 11.4%.
The report also reveals that claims have been made against the limited liability partnership in relation to advice given, which the firm is appealing.
The firm offers expertise across a broad range of portfolios, including charities and the third sector, family services, land and rural businesses and employment law, although it is known for providing advice to large country estates.
It is also a growing presence in the energy sector.
During the reporting period, Gillespie Macandrew continued its support for Angus-based Rossie Young People’s Trust, the Rock Trust and Children in Scotland each receiving a share of 1% of pre-tax profits.
The firm operates without any debt and works on a “sector-led strategy approach” and made number of “significant hires and internal promotions” during the year.
Mr McArthur said: “Looking ahead, after a resilient start to the new financial year under lockdown and notwithstanding widespread uncertainty on the longer term economic impact Covid-19 will have, the firm has put in place a number of measures to underpin our financial strength for the medium term.
“We are therefore confident that with these measures, the sector focus of our business and our strong financial position, we can meet the significant challenges ahead with confidence.”