Scottish full service law firm, Harper Macleod, has announced plans for expansion as its fee income for the latest financial year hit a record £22million.

Fee income at the company, which has bases in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Thurso, rose by 5% year-on-year, while profits rose 7.5% to almost £8million.

The firm’s acquisition of Bird Semple also saw headcount rise to 313 by the firm’s year-end of March 31. Over this period, it also saw the promotion of seven new partners and 16 new associates.

Next month Harper Macleod will move its Edinburgh operation to Citypoint, tripling its office space in the city. It will also see two new partners, within its Banking & Finance and Dispute resolution divisions, join the firm’s team in the capital, taking the total number of partners to 63.

The expansion follows a doubling of the firm’s space in Inverness, alongside a major refurbishment and new long-term lease of its Glasgow headquarters over the current financial year. It is also developing a new, responsive website, having made significant investments in its IT capacity over the year.

The firm says it also enjoyed a “memorable” 2014-2015, which marked the culmination of its role as Legal Advisers to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and saw it become one of the first Scottish law firms to become a Living Wage employer.

Chief Executive Martin Darroch said: “We’ve doubled the number of partners on the ground in Edinburgh over the past two years and around a quarter of our partners advise clients and operate out of our offices there already. The new office assists our growth aspirations as we continue to identify talented individuals and teams to join the firm.

“It’s been a memorable year in many respects. We are already one of the leading firms headquartered in Scotland - the 4th largest law firm by number of partners, and the 5th largest professional partnership overall. We’ve created sustained growth by thinking and operating as a business first and foremost, one that just happens to be in the business of law. Now we’re looking to accelerate that growth to take advantage of the major opportunities we see in the Scottish legal market.

“No one firm has more than 5% of the overall market, and there’s a real opportunity to increase our market share as the legal scene continues to evolve.

“We pride ourselves on being innovative and anticipating opportunities. We took a decision to invest in our practice in this area several years ago in anticipation that it would become increasingly important, both to the economy in light of the financial situation and as a source of business.

“We work with many startups and high-growth companies and have been a partner of Entrepreneurial Spark since its inception, seeing the organisation and its businesses through incredible growth. We’re also involved with initiatives including ScotEdge and have played a key role in the development of crowdfunding in Scotland.

“This has seen us become a key player in an area which is so crucial for creating businesses, jobs and growth in the Scottish economy, and you now see many other organisations and professionals sitting up and taking notice.”

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