Blackadders LLP boosts earnings and profit

12/01/2024

LEADING Sottish law firm Blackadders LLP has reported increased turnover and profit in its latest accounts.

The figures for the 2022/23 financial year show turnover increased by more than £1million and profit rose by 12%. Performance in the current financial year so far points to a similar performance with another £1million set to be added to income as well as expected further growth in profits for 2023/24.

The 2022/23 results are the first reported under the new leadership team of Joint Managing Partners Emma Gray and Ryan McKay. The pair were appointed in August 2022.

Blackadders’ turnover for 2022/23 was £16.7 million, including Blackadders Wealth Management LLP, and profit was £4.23 million.

Ryan McKay said: “We are very pleased with the performance. It was a challenging year but we managed to make early progress on a number of reorganisation initiatives in the firm and this has shown through to the bottom line.

“Trading conditions continued to be challenged by the fallout from Covid, the cost-of-living crisis and global conflicts but we have been very clear in concentrating on delivering for our clients.

“By sticking to our values of service excellence, continuous improvement and our people, we have kept the focus of the firm on core activity.

“The understanding from our teams of the need to meet every challenge given to us by our clients has never been greater and this has been reflected positively in the financial performance.”

In 2022/23, turnover grew by 9% which produced operating profit growth of 5%. Overall profit increased by 12%. This was achieved by a combination of improved trading performance and the impact of measures taken to streamline operations across four offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. This consolidation has led to some direct cost savings but has also concentrated services in bigger operational centres.

Performance in the second half of the year was particularly strong following the formation and bedding in of the new board and systems.

Initiatives undertaken by the board included the commissioning of a new brand identity and new website as well as an improvement in internal communications and collaborative working between offices. The new brand and website were revealed in October this year and the feedback from within the firm, clients and the wider legal community has been extremely positive.

Mr McKay added: “Our new brand better reflects our core values and the prominence of people on the new website reflects the trust we have in the quality and consistency of service being delivered across sectors by our teams. 

“Given the impact of improved digital technology and the growth that artificial intelligence is already having on our sector, the board is constantly challenging the way the firm works and delivers its services. While there are clearly challenges with AI, it also presents us with opportunities to change the way we work and interact with clients to their benefit. It would be remiss of law firms to not rise to the challenges and opportunities ahead, and, as long as the welfare of clients remains at the core of our beliefs, we believe there are exciting times ahead.”

The Blackadders’ board has introduced a 5 by 25 Strategy to ensure the firm is as well placed as it can be to benefit from any sustained upturn in the economy. The five initiatives the firm is aiming to achieve by the end of the 2025/26 financial year are:

Increase turnover to £25 million

Achieve a profit margin of 35%

Be regarded as an employer of choice in the industry

Act as a destination lawyer for clients

Secure Blackadders’ position as a top five Scottish law firm.

Good progress has been made on all five initiatives and the board is confident of meeting its targets. 

Blackadders are also considering acquisition targets, particularly in the central belt of Scotland.

Mr McKay said: “We are proud of our ambition and ready for the significant challenges presented by our 5 by 25 Strategy. The need to have clear, meaningful goals in place is crucial to providing focus and building excitement within the team.”

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