Shepherd and Wedderburn reports 5% turnover growth in 2021/22
Shepherd and Wedderburn reported 5% turnover growth to £62.2 million in the year to 30 April 2022. Net profits (before partner distributions) grew 3% to £26 million.
In recognition of their commitment to the firm and its clients, in addition to the firm’s performance-related bonus scheme, colleagues will receive an exceptional bonus of 5% of annual salary.
2021/22 was the first year of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s revised three-year strategic plan which builds on the firm’s longstanding reputation for quality and service and focuses on driving growth primarily in core strength areas including real estate, infrastructure, corporate finance and the fast-growing and innovative sectors of technology and clean energy, where client activity has been particularly strong over the last 12 months. Current clean energy mandates include work in relation to English Round 4, ScotWind, INTOG and Celtic Sea.
Notable activity this year included acting for TVSquared in its $160 million sale to US-based Innovid, advising Scottish Sea Farms in its £164 million purchase of the UK fish farming interests of Grieg Seafood ASA, and acting for Miller Homes in relation to the Scottish property and planning aspects of its acquisition by Apollo Global Management.
The past year has seen Shepherd and Wedderburn invest in its office footprint, ensuring premium, highly connected and easily accessible facilities for clients and colleagues, while aligning with the firm’s ambitions to be net zero for greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The firm has relocated to a new Aberdeen office with capacity to double the firm’s headcount in the region, and has agreed to relocate its Edinburgh headquarters to M&G’s Haymarket Edinburgh development in a major investment that will offer a flexible and dynamic working environment for colleagues and allow for continued growth.
Notable deals, matters and panel appointments over the past 12 months include:
• reappointment to the legal panels of British Land and Taylor Wimpey, building on our longstanding trusted adviser relationships with those clients;
• new legal panel appointments to Balfour Beatty, Electricity Supply Board and Scottish Water;
• being appointed as sole legal provider, in respect of corporate legal services, to the Scottish National Investment Bank;
• the firm’s banking team advising on 150 transactions with a total value of £101 billion;
• acting for Miller Homes in relation to the Scottish property and planning aspects of its acquisition by Apollo Global Management;
• being appointed as sole legal adviser by Energy Transition Zone to support its plans to reposition the north-east of Scotland as a globally recognised integrated energy cluster;
• acting for Cierco Ltd in relation to its joint venture arrangements with SBM Offshore, known as Floventis Energy, for the development of floating offshore wind projects;
• acting for TVSquared, a global measurement and attribution platform for converged TV, in its $160 million sale to US-based Innovid;
• advising long-standing client Scottish Sea Farms in its £164 million purchase of the UK fish farming interests of Grieg Seafood ASA;
• acting for the shareholders of Granfit Holdings Limited in the sale of the entire issued share capital to Norcros Group (Holdings) Limited, for a value up to £92 million;
• acting for the CBRE UK Property PAIF in the purchase of Exchange Place One, Edinburgh, a fully let, grade A office building comprising circa 115,000 sq ft, from a fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management; and
• acting for Clydeport Operations Limited in concluding an option agreement with the sustainable energy company XLCC to construct a facility at Hunterston Port to produce high voltage sub-sea cables for the transmission of renewable energy.
Highlights during the past year include:
• promoting five lawyers to Partner, with women accounting for 80% of our partner promotions;
• recruiting Ian Bowie as a Partner in the real estate team, with the recruitment of a number of other partners to be announced in the coming weeks;
• promoting six lawyers to Legal Director and 18 to Associate, as well as 17 lawyers taking up new Senior Associates roles, recruiting 40 new Solicitors and a record number of trainees to support future growth;
• our private wealth and tax team being named the ‘Out-of-London Practice of the Year’ at the Chambers High Net Worth Awards;
• our banking and finance team being named Transactions Team of the Year at the Law Awards of Scotland;
• our Smarter Working team being shortlisted in two categories at September’s Scottish Legal Awards – Legal Technology and Support Team of the Year;
• launching a dedicated Environmental, Social and Governance Advisory Group to assist clients with their sustainability, workforce and regulatory commitments; and
• being ranked 50th in a list of the UK’s top 75 employers published by the Social Mobility Foundation, demonstrating our progress in fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Andrew Blain, Managing Partner of Shepherd and Wedderburn, said: “I am pleased to announce another set of strong financial results. Last year was the first year of our revised three-year strategy and I am delighted with the progress we have made. We have achieved the targets we set ourselves for the first 12 months and made a number of strategic investments in people and premises. We go into 2022/2023 with a strong and growing platform to support clients and deliver on our 2024 strategy.
“I would like to thank colleagues for their ongoing focus on quality and service, and our clients for continuing to put their trust in us. We look forward to working with them to achieve even more in the year ahead.”