Burness Paull poised for growth following steady performance

Edinburgh law firm reports new business coming in from the US, China, Norway and Israel

Burness Paull looks set to deliver significant growth in the next three years after posting a steady financial performance for the year ending 31 July 2017.
That’s according to Chairman Philip Rodney, who reports that the law firm delivered an annual turnover of £53.8m – representing an increase of 1% on the previous year – and generated £22m profit (slightly less that the £22.5m in 2015/16).
Philip Rodney, Burness Paull
Rodney said: “We have delivered a steady financial performance in what has been a bumpy year for the Scottish economy. There will undoubtedly be more challenges to come as a result of the political and economic backdrop. However there will be opportunities for those who are prepared to be bold and embrace the future.”
The firm, which was recently named the most active dealmaker in Scotland for the second consecutive year, has a three-year strategy designed to deliver growth across its Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, as well as developing its international initiatives.
Rodney added: “The speed of change has never been greater. Our strategy builds on the successful platform that we have created. Growth will come from our agility in developing our service lines to support the changing needs of our clients both here and internationally. In particular, we anticipate increased activity in energy, technology and tax. In planning for that, we have invested heavily in people and technology. This will enable us to develop our resource and provide operational efficiencies.”
The firm has added eight partners in the last 12 months. Nicky Clemence, who was previously with Brodies, was appointed partner in property, while Jody Crockett joined as partner in dispute resolution from London-based Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Internal promotions saw new partners in pensions, retail, procurement, banking & funds and product liability. Lindsay Wallace also became Burness Paull’s first general counsel.
Rodney said: “Our recent promotions demonstrate the depth of talent that is being nurtured through our leadership development programme and our ability to attract top talent from other firms.”
Activity highlights include:
  • Advising a Canadian syndicate and two separate US corporates on inward investment transactions.
  • Advising Scottish-based Renegade Spirits on the development of Waterford Distillery in Ireland, and, with input from Irish counsel, on a £16M fundraise from Business Growth Fund and Ulster Bank.
  • Acting for the Scottish Loan Fund on its exit from its investment in Vermilion Holdings as part of the sale of Vermilion to Factset Europe Ltd
  • Advising Maven Capital on its investment in Qikserve
  • Acting on the $163m sale of Sterling Resources (UK) Ltd to Dutch company Oranje-Nassau Energie
  • Advising BayWa r.e. UK on the expansion of its onshore wind portfolio in the UK with the strategic acquisition of a >20MW wind farm in the North of Scotland
Rodney said: “Scotland continues to produce exciting, dynamic businesses. It is increasingly attractive for inward investment – more so than any region out with London. This year, for example, we have had instructions from new clients in the US, China, Norway and Israel. In addition, a substantial part of our practice is in acting for clients who are doing business beyond our boundaries.
“Closer to home, we are seeing real substance behind the creativity and technical innovation across the central belt and there are positive signs out of Aberdeen as the oil and gas sector adapts to the ‘new normal’.
“The geo-political backdrop and the impact of the technological push over the next three years will generate enormous changes in the way business is conducted. Analysing the problems and the opportunities will be one thing. But creating solutions will be another. That is an exciting setting for us to build the firm.”
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