SHEPHERD and Wedderburn reported 2% turnover growth to £56.9 million in the year to April 30, 2020, with profits before partner distributions down 1.7% to £22.4 million.
Shepherd and Wedderburn’s market-leading Clean Energy Group reported record revenues during the period in review, up 54% on the previous year. The group continues to advise on landmark and pathfinder clean energy projects across the UK, working with clients to help accelerate a green recovery.
The firm’s corporate finance team advised on deals with an aggregate value of more than £6 billion in the year to December 2019, and its banking and finance team advised on 276 deals with a cumulative value of £64.6 billion in the year to 30 April 2020, an increase of 65% in the total number of deals on the previous year.
The commercial disputes and regulation, real estate, pensions, employment and private client teams also posted strong performance, demonstrating sustained demand for the broad spectrum of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s service offerings to corporate clients and individuals.
Notable deals and matters over the past 12 months include:
· Acting for Cairn Energy, a client of the firm for more than 30 years, in the sale of assets in Senegal for a cash consideration of up to $400 million;
· Advising Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind Limited on the £2 billion financing of the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm;
· Acting for Forsa Energy Limited in its sale of its 350MW portfolio of onshore wind projects to BayWa r.e. UK Limited;
· Acting for J. de Jonge Group, a family-owned Dutch company, in a €55 million dispute regarding the refitting of the Petrojarl I, the North Sea’s first custom-built floating production storage and offloading vessel;
· Advising Baillie Gifford on a major commercial let of 280,000 square feet of accommodation at the £350 million Haymarket Edinburgh development; · advising US-based financial services group JPMorgan Chase on its approved plan to build a 13-storey, 270,000 square feet technology base in Glasgow;
· Successfully representing housing developers Mactaggart and Mickel Homes, Miller Homes, CALA, Persimmon Homes, and Wallace Land in a landmark case concerning land supply in Inverclyde;
· Advising Epic Games, developer of the hit video game Fortnite, on its acquisition of Cubic Motion, a specialist computer vision, and facial animation technology company;
· Advising the selling shareholders of video game data specialist DeltaDNA in its sale to US-based Unity Software, the developer of the Unity real-time video game development platform; and
· Advising longstanding client IndigoVision, the Edinburgh-based security camera company, on its £30.4 million recommended takeover by Motorola Solutions.
Shepherd and Wedderburn was also the top-ranked Scottish-headquartered law firm in the Stonewall and InterLaw Diversity Forum’s Workplace Equality Index of the top legal employers for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff. In addition, the firm launched a Smarter Working team, which has delivered innovative projects for many of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s clients, including Virgin Money and EE, as well as document automation and process improvements across all its divisions.
During 2019/20, the firm’s achievements were recognised with awards including:
· Transaction Team of the Year and Innovation Award (Smarter Working) at the Law Awards of Scotland;
· Diversity Star Performer at The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards, reflecting the hard work and commitment of the firm’s focus groups – Gender; Race, Faith and Belief; LGBTIA; Healthy Working Lives; and Social Mobility;
· Deal of the Year at the Scottish Property Awards 2020, recognising the property and infrastructure team’s advisory work on the JPMorgan Chase European Technology Hub in Glasgow; and
· Yvonne Brady, Head of Restructuring and Business Advisory and Head of Diversity, Development and Inclusion, being named Best Professional in Business at the Scottish Women’s Awards.
Andrew Blain, Managing Partner of Shepherd and Wedderburn, said: “We are pleased to report solid growth in 2019/20. Like many businesses, the last two months of the financial year were impacted by the pandemic and since then we have been operating in a very different and altogether more challenging environment. I am proud of the way in which we have responded to those challenges and continued to support our clients as we all face up to the continuing uncertainties of the pandemic.
“The quality of our lawyers and the depth of our expertise across all our practice areas and sector groups positions us well to continue to support clients as we emerge from the pandemic. We will continue to look to invest in talent and technology and to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves this year.
“I would like to thank our clients for continuing to put their trust in us, and my colleagues across the business for the remarkable resilience, commitment and adaptability they have shown, often in very challenging circumstances.”