Law firm announces financial results and senior rural team hires

Full-service law firm Ledingham Chalmers today announces two senior rural team hires in Aberdeen and Stirling as part of its nationwide growth plans.

The news comes the same day as the full-service firm announces its 2022/23 financial results — recording the highest turnover since becoming an LLP in 2006.

Meanwhile, its headcount has grown by just over 25% since April 2022, exceeding 200 for the first time.

At the end of August, senior associate Lynne McElroy joined the rural team in Stirling from BTO Solicitors in Edinburgh while Anna Moir was recruited as an associate from Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace in Aberdeen.

Meanwhile in April this year, Lois Craig in the Granite City rural team was promoted to senior associate, and Emily Flett-Grant in Inverness to associate.

Managing partner Jennifer Young said: “Our Scotland-wide rural offering — home to an exceptionally talented group of colleagues — is a core part of our service.

“Our growth plans depend on having the right people in the right roles, and Lynne and Anna are already showing just how much value they deliver for clients, while the promotions for Emily and Lois recognise the considerable contribution they continue to make to the firm.”

 

Financial detail

The firm’s turnover for 2022/23 was £13.4 million, its highest since becoming a limited liability partnership (LLP) in 2006.

Turnover for the group, including subsidiary Ledingham Chalmers Financial, was £14.2million, compared with £13.6million in 2021/22. Pre-tax profit was slightly down on the year before — £3.5million compared with £4million.

Mrs Young said much of the difference in profit is due to investment in a fast growing workforce, combined with factors affecting all businesses such as inflation and other higher operating overheads.

Mrs Young said: “All that means we’re not wedded to the numbers we outlined in 2019 to double turnover to £25million by 2025.

“We’re operating in a competitive post-pandemic marketplace for attracting and retaining talent — and we’re investing in a fast-growing workforce. We continue to benchmark salaries as part of our long-term sustainable growth strategy.”

The firm also allocated just under £280,000 in non-contractual bonuses in the last financial year, including its performance related pay scheme.

 

Headcount and hires

Since January 2023, 31 people have joined the firm.

The firm’s headcount on 31 October was 210 (compared with 166 in April 2022), including 27 partners, with a further five people set to join before the end of November. Recruitment is also underway for five posts: four lawyers and a paralegal.

The north-east-headquartered firm remains the only practice in Scotland with offices in United Auctions’ Agricultural Centre in Stirling and the Thainstone Centre near Inverurie. It also has a base in Edinburgh and two offices in Inverness.

In Stirling, as part of Ledingham Chalmers’ plan to broaden its offering there, senior associate Suzie Falconer joined in January in the private client team: advising clients on all aspects of succession planning, powers of attorney and estate administration.

Recent senior appointments elsewhere across the firm include partner Mike Morrice, who joined the commercial property team in Aberdeen in October from Burness Paull, and Gary Hunt who came on board in November as head of HR, also in Aberdeen. Mr Hunt has around 25 years’ HR experience in the energy sector.

Meanwhile Edinburgh-based Coral Bain joined in October in the newly-created pan-Scotland head of risk and compliance role overseeing aspects such as Law Society of Scotland standards and regulations, anti-money laundering (AML) rules, and data protection.

 

External recognition

The firm is consistently ranked in legal directories and in the 2024 Legal 500 and Chambers UK 2024, 18 people and seven disciplines were recognised, including agriculture and rural affairs. Other disciplines ranked were corporate and commercial, employment, personal injury — defender, construction, commercial property, and insolvency and corporate recovery.

Rural partner Hazel Moir was shortlisted for Private Client Lawyer of the Year at the inaugural Legal 500 Scotland awards event this month and Mrs Young was recently named Managing Partner of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards.

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