Full service law firm Ledingham Chalmers said today its figures for the 2017-18 financial year showed a modest increase, ahead of forecast.

Group turnover for year ending March 2018, including wholly-owned subsidiary Golden Square Wealth Management, was over £11.6m, compared with around £11.5m the year before. Profits were up from £3.4m to £3.6m.

The firm has offices in Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling and Edinburgh, and chairman and partner Jennifer Young said: “We’ve spoken a lot in the past about focusing on sustainable growth and we believe these figures show that approach is starting to pay off against an improving, yet still challenging, economic backdrop.

“The only certainty in the legal services marketplace is the level and speed of change, and we’ve adapted and continued to concentrate on providing what we know is a valuable service to clients, with the SME sector an area of particular focus with high potential.

“And between April last year and March, we’ve spent numerous hours on the road speaking to hundreds of people from these businesses at more than 20 events about topics that affect them, from GDPR compliance and construction law to collaboration in the oil and gas industry.”

Brian Hay, the firm’s chief executive officer, said: “Our private client, commercial property and litigation offerings across all of our offices contributed to the increase on the year before, with continued strong performances from our corporate work.”

Meanwhile, the firm continues to attract significant external recognition including in the prestigious Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 directories.

Taking on board the results of extensive research, including feedback from clients, 35 personnel and 14 practice areas attracted praise in the guides.

These included agriculture and estates and employment law — two areas where the firm was ranked higher than last year in Legal 500 — corporate and commercial, energy, banking and finance, insolvency and corporate recovery, commercial litigation, real estate, construction, commercial property, planning, environmental, family and matrimonial and personal injury.

With 134 staff, including 32 partners, notable team changes throughout the year included Aberdeen-based partners and renowned energy industry experts Laura Petrie and Uisdean Vass re-joining Ledingham Chalmers. Mr Vass took up the newly-created head of oil and gas position. Another new role, head of business development, was filled by Julie Smith.

In June this year, the firm announced a merger with north east solicitors and estate agents, Gray & Connochie, increasing its headcount by 11.This move saw partners Julie Longmuir and Fiona Thomson, consultant Ken Shaw, senior solicitor James Florance and newly qualified solicitor Jenna Hendry all join the firm, together with six support staff.

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